An incredibly detailed harvest report from Francesco Leanza of Podere Salicutti in Montalcino
November 26, 2013:
"To be brief I will say that the 2103 spring and summer months were characterized by temperatures lower by about 4-5 degrees celsius with respect to the average temperatures of recent years e rain considerably more abundant in the months of July and August.
This weather led to a retardation of all the vegetative phases of the plant (bud break, flowering, fruiting) and evolution (veraison, sugar maturation, phenolic ripeness) by around 10-12 days with respect to that recorded in the last 4-5 years.
The rain and the higher humidity also created a considerable problem for the control of powdery mildew that developed in an unusual way in the second half of July. The powdery mildew attacked the younger leaves causing wilting and loss. The result has been more or less severe damage from the mildew.
The poor state of the leaves ultimately slowed the process of ripening, especially regarding the phenolic ripeness (skins and seeds).
Something similar happened in 2005 but the difference of that year was that the month of September had 4 weeks of hot temperatures and dry weather which was very useful for the plant to make up for the slow growth in the summer months.
In conclusion, here in Montalcino, almost everyone began the harvest between the end of September and the first weeks of October and those that had to wait for sufficient maturity further than the first days of October found great difficulty with the arrival of heavy rains that severely damaged the fruit.
I harvested from day 2 to day 4 of October with three beautiful days of sun. In 2011 and 2012 I had harvested from the 16th to the 19th of September.
The quality of the grapes, a part from a selection made to eliminate a little damage from the powdery mildew, was very good.
The concentration of sugars was slightly inferior with respect to the last few years and the acidity slightly higher.
The phenolic ripeness was not optimal but acceptable.
Overall, regarding my estate, I would say it was a one of a kind year and rather demanding because of the additional work required in the vineyard.
The quality of wines seems to me good (I would say medium high) and characterized by good acidity and freshness, slightly higher than usual. The result could be even more interesting wines.
As usual, we will need to wait for the evolution of the wine to understand and evaluate their eventual balance."