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5218 Lawton Avenue
Oakland, CA 94114


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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Filtering by Tag: Alto Adige

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

Upcoming Winemaker Events

Michele Boscia

Wednesday September 3rd - Please join winemaker Cristiano Garella (formerly of Tenute Sella) to taste the wines from three new winery projects he is working with in the appellations of Lessona, Bramaterra, and Fara. 
Biondivino Wine Boutique - 1415 Green Street, San Francisco, CA - 5:30-8pm

Wednesday September 3rd - Late Night Trade Tasting with Cristiano Garella (formerly of Tenute Sella). RSVP, all trade customers welcome.
Locanda - 557 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA - 10pm to 12am

Thursday September 11th - Please join Cristian Maddalena and taste through the of Erste + Neue from the Alto Adige.
Biondivino Wine Boutique - 1415 Green Street, San Francisco, CA - 5:30-8pm

Friday September 12th - Please join Cristian Maddalena and taste the wines of Erste + Neue from the Alto Adige.
Whole Foods Noe Valley - 3950 24th Street, San Francisco, CA - 5 to 7pm

Harvest Update: Niklas

Michele Boscia

The harvest updates are rolling in. Here is one from Dieter Solva of Weingut Niklas in the Alto Adige:

November 22nd, 2013

"The harvest is finished and I have a moment of time to communicate the latest news. 

The year 2013 was very good. The growing season was rather late in coming and long. The Pinot Bianco Riserva was harvested with an outside temperature of 4 degrees celsius. 

The white wines promise a lot of fruit. They have a slightly higher acidity than the last vintages, that contributes to a more pronounced mineral character. They have good ripeness, persistence, and balance. 

Also the Schiava shows a lot of fruit and promises good drinkability. 

The reds are still undergoing malolactic fermentation. Likely they will have a lighter structure than the previous excellent years, given that around the end of their maturation there was a couple days of rain that slowed the phenolic maturation. Nevertheless, we were happy to collect healthy mature grapes."

-Dieter Solva, Weingut Niklas, Alto Adige