Hello fellow wine lovers!
I’m super excited for this time of the year because now the new wines have been racked to barrel a few months ago and the cold weather has settled the lees (dead yeast and particulate) and left the new wines bright and clear. This is the first chance I have as a winemaker to see what the harvest has really given us for 2020. The 2020’ La Collina and Cinnamon Hill Nebbiolo are now both in the tasting room and I’ve had a chance to review both.
The Nebbiolo is going to be outstanding and rival the 17’. As you may be aware, we don’t pick the Nebbiolo to sugar, or measure in Brix, but rather we pick to ph. That is, we hope for the ph to rise to 3.25 and do so at a reasonable sugar (as an example, the super cool year of 2010 only got to 3.15 at 30 Brix and that was in November!). But 2020 is one of those rare years when the Nebbiolo was perfectly balanced at 25.1 sugar and 3.25 ph. It is already full of delicious Nebbiolo varietal character and nicely building color in the barrel. Keep an eye out for this beauty!
After a difficult and uneven ripening in 2019, the La Collina Barbera leaped back into its classic form in 2020. By dropping fruit after veraison the ripening evened out beautifully and as we watched the fruit cross the sorting table we could see that sugars had built nicely in the clusters. Barbera is another Italian variety that easily runs over with acid levels which is why it is critical to let the ph raise to levels (again the ideal is 3.25 or above if possible) that won’t remove the enamel from ones teeth. This wine is deeply and beautifully colored and will be slow to develop. It is still slightly fermenting, and you can hear the sizzle of the struggling ML bacteria as they slowly chew up the remaining malic acid. But beneath all of that is the beginnings of a lush mouthful of wine. The numbers verify the results coming in at 26.1 Brix and 3.39 ph. This wine is currently doing its thing in one year old Canton American oak and new Hungarian oak coopered in Italy. Another gem to look forward too.
I hope you enjoyed this first peek at the 2020 vintage.
Ken Musso, Winemaker