Once again: we didn't get to taste the 2016 after it was bottled, but last year it showed beautifully from bottle. Alan Manley (owner, farmer, winemaker, chief bottle washer) provided the following very interesting text:
2016: A classic, cool year of excellent potential. However, not a “Vintage of the Century,” no matter what the wine magazines say. The winter and spring were normal, with good precipitation to replenish the water tables after the dry and hot 2015 growing season. A burst of heat around the flowering and a week of warmth over the July-August cusp were the only sustained heat events of the year; this was a very excellent growing season marred only by a few oidium outbreaks. The critical ripening period were warm days and cool nights with excellent, stable weather that made for an easy harvest conducted under optimal conditions. As always, the field-sorting of fruit during the picking was critical to a good outcome in the cellar.The critical difficulty in 2016 was overproduction – after several vintages of below-normal yields, the vines exploded in 2016. Careful management of the vegetation was absolutely necessary to a good result in 2016. Crop thinning was performed after the flowering, when many single new shoots had set 3-4 flower bunches; ideally, there should be one per shoot. A second pass through the vineyards after the invaiatura (veraison) was necessary to bring the yields under the legally mandated limits. Any imperfectly colored bunches were removed at this point.Pernanno and Sotto-Rionda were harvested on October 12; Ginestra on October 16. This wine was also made in the rented cellar, the same as in 2015. As the ripening dates were so close together, they were fermented together (the Ginestra fruit was simply added on top of the already-fermenting Pernanno and Sotto-Rionda fruit in a single concrete tank). Total maceration time was about 38 days and the wine went through malolactic fermentation in steel as there was no wooden botte to be rented that year. The wine spent about 10 months in the steel tank with several rankings before being transferred to the Margherita Otto cantina as soon as the new facility was ready in late August 2017. The wine was put into a single 25hl Mittelberger botte, a single well-used tonneau of 500L and a single old barrique of 225 liters.The wine was bottled on April 29, 2020 (after 32 months in wood) and released in June 2020. Production: 20 double-magnums, 535 magnums and 3200 bottles. Alan Manley
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