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5218 Lawton Avenue
Oakland, CA 94114

510-654-9159

Oliver McCrum Wines has been importing small production Italian wine and distributing to fine retail and restaurant establishes throughout California since 1994. Over time, our portfolio of producers has steadily grown to over 45 producers from 15 different regions of Italy. We look for typical Italian wines with clarity and freshness, usually made from indigenous Italian grape varieties using clean, transparent winemaking techniques and no obvious use of oak. 

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Harvest Report 2015: Podere Salicutti, Tuscany

Michele Boscia

Harvest beginning date 09/14 with 6 workers for picking and manual selection of grapes and 4 workers for carrying and second selection of the grapes before destemming.

Harvest duration 6 days.

Cool and windy weather.

Grapes maturation almost perfect in all the vineyard. Integrity of the fruit also very good.

Mechanical destemming and whole berries discharging without crushing into steel tanks, just by gravity.

Sugar level medium/high, but not stratospheric, in perfect balance with a relevant structure and extract and an unusually sustained acidity.

Spontaneous fermentation start within 24-48 hours. Fermentation last almost 10 days.

Maceration, longer than the historical average value, last 4/5 weeks.

The malolactic fermentation of all selections performed and completed in stainless steel.

First rating of the wines ranging from very good to excellent.

--Francesco Leanza, Owner & Winemaker

Harvest Report 2015: Erste + Neue, Alto Adige

Michele Boscia

Warm, warmer, perfect

The winter was once again exceptionally mild and dry, with the year 2015 starting early and rather unspectacularly. Compared to previous years the appearance of the vine shoots was average to early. The first vegetation could already be seen in the vineyards by late April.

The pronounced dryness of the early summer did not adversely affect the vines much, with growth progressing slowly and steadily, but caution was in order. The first heat thunderstorm was witnessed on 6 May. Fortunately the entire winegrowing area was spared from hail. The weather remained relatively volatile in May, and on 20 May there was a late onset of winter with snow in the mountains and rain in the vineyards. The lower temperatures slowed the growth of the vines, only for it to pick up again towards the middle of June.

Cumulus clouds in the sky repeatedly caused us concern, but we were extremely lucky and not one vine was hit by hail, while precipitation was also moderate with the vine leaves drying quickly, so there were practically no infections. Thus, luckily for us winemakers, 2015 was not a good year for peronospora or oidium.

July 2015 in South Tyrol was for the most part the hottest July in meteorological history. It was also the warmest month since records began. The vines slowed their growth, adapting to the weather conditions by switching to “Save” mode. Growth of the shoots slowed and the grapes took priority in terms of nutrient supply and optimum state of affairs.

Peak temperatures reached 38°C, nor were the nights much cooler, causing a metabolic stoppage in the vines. The lead on previous years dwindled day by day.

Nevertheless, by the beginning of August the early varieties had produced glassy berries for the white wines, with colour developing in the reds.

The meteorological summer of 2015 (June to August) was, in the weather history of South Tyrol, the second-hottest summer since records began. Temperatures were 2-2.5° above the long-term average for the years 1981-2010. Three extreme heatwaves (early and mid-July and early August) saw a number of weather records tumble. In Bolzano, 22 days were measured with temperatures of over 35°. But the summer brought not just high temperatures but also drought: as the vine is not a rice plant, however, even the old vines had little trouble in absorbing this stress.

Just at the beginning of the harvest, on 1 September, the weather broke. The atmospheric conditions and cool nights of the first weeks of September fostered a very aromatic ripening of the grapes. The early varieties such as Müller-Thurgau, Sauvignon Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio too enjoyed ideal conditions for veritable, fruity and fleshy wines with ripe acids and fine fruity aromas. The berries were splendid to behold, golden-yellow and in particularly rude health.

Better was to come: no fewer than two cold fronts passed over the land from mid-September, bringing with them cool nights, occasionally dropping to single-digit temperatures. The medium-late and late varieties in particular benefited, above all the Vernatsch from around Lake Kaltern, with unprecedented must weights and perfectly ripe berries. The Lagrein, Merlot and Cabernet grapes all enjoyed perfect ripening on the vine this year: the young wines are accordingly deep red and especially rich in content: soft and full, with a variety of fruit aromas.

Thanks to the Golden Autumn, we still have a small plot in the vineyard with Gewürztraminer so we can also produce an appropriately elegant sweet wine for this outstanding year.

After the bone-dry summer, autumn brought us the sort of high-quality harvest that we only see once every 5-10 years.

With plenty of fruit, intense, exotic and with a very precise character and density of flavour, the wines of 2015 will tell the story of this excellent year.

Simply wonderful!

--Gerhard Sanin, Winemaker

Harvest Report 2015: Ciro Biondi, Sicily

Michele Boscia

Winter pretty cold and lots of snow also in the vineyards, February.

Spring nice and warm no problems with the flowering.

Summer hot but not extremely, few rains in August.

September strange with waves of extreme heat and rains 10 days ( 4th, 6st, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th).

October we started on the 7th and finished on the 9th with the white grapes and continued on the 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th and on the 18th we finished the red ones. It rained on the 1st (172mm!!),  2nd, 9th, 10th, 15th. The production of red grapes was nearly 40% less due to less yield and also because some of the grapes were not ripe or affected by mold.

The white wines: OUTIS ( there will be around 6.000 bottles) and Chianta (around 4.000), at the moment are gorgeous!!!! We will probably bottle OUTIS at the end of January.

The red ones: San Nicolò, 12.5 alcohol, it taste already as San Nicolò, good, in malolactic fermentation. Cisterna Fuori, 13.0 alcohol, good but very small quantity, malo nearly finished. OUTIS, 12.5 alcohol, good, malo nearly finished (0,25 last Saturday). In general ph were very good 3.3/3.4, acidity (before malo for the red ones) around 7.4 and 7.7.

Overall this vintage is defined by a low yield and a lot of work in the vineyard due to a lot of rain during the final ripening in Sept and October. With careful selection of the grapes to avoid under ripe grapes and mold in the bunches, the wines look promising and will come in at moderate alcohol levels.

--Ciro Biondi, December 1, 2015