Trinoro, vintage 2017
Frost hit most of the vineyards in Europe at the same time, early in the morning of april 19 th. Expecially the ones growing in the valley bottoms lost their produce. We had fires burning throughout our flat acreage by three o’clock that night. For that effort the secondary buds still hidden in the shoots stayed saved and later we looked at each plant and counted to determine which of the fields would bare a late, secondary crop; then we eliminated the primary shoots’ fruit which would be lending overripness by the time we harvested. This tireing examination happened in three large fields of merlot and cabernet franc.
The grounds were terribly dry after that very little rain had fallen during the winter; to this came added in early June an African heath wave that held the property and everyone in it in an unrelenting red maze, which lasted all summer; after the fires we turned to water and kept spraying it up in the air during the first light of dawn to create a mist over the vineyards that would fall to the receiving foliage. We insisted every night for three months, until reservoirs were emptied and fall had arrived.
By September many vineyards in Tuscany had berries looking like peppercorns and the 2017 crop was generally almost compromized in Italy. Vineyards at Trinoro are very late, so there was time enough for a brilliant regeneration and growth of the grapes. Because the median age of the vines is 25 years they are able to store and spend huge energies so they kept very green instead of collapsing their foliage, this well into November.
There was a tentative pickings of Merlot as early as september 9th but the bulk came in during the last week of the month. Also on cabernet franc we had a an anxious try on the 3rd of October but then we waited until the 12-13th when the crop came in allmost entirely. The cabernet sauvignon was picked in part of on the 17th to save it from turning to raisin but the good stuff came in the winery on the 24, like most years. All the musts were very dense and hard to ferment because of the concentrated matter and, surprisingly, in spite of the sugars in many tanks being low: such was the blocking effect forced on the plants by this year’s heath.
In Febuary taking a first peek in the barrels we found a sort of flat, black substance ; after much airing and many rackings, structure and diverse fruit started emerging from the dark of the wines and as soon as I was able to recognize the crus I mixed, at the end of April. All the wines are now growing, at this point more in flavours than in shape; I see a fashinating wine that will turn delicious in ten years.
The grapes that went in to the Franchetti wine of 2017 had ripened steadily and gradually during late summer and, expecially, fall. We were able to pick them at the right time for the best combination of fruit and structure without hurry: I would run up every morning to find the same little jump forwad in maturity.
We made a rich mixed wine of Petit verdot and cesanese d’Affile. The wine reminds of red fruits, it is very fresh and has beautiful a strong fruit.
The blend is 50% Petit Verdot and 50% Cesanese d’Affile.
Andrea Franchetti – May 5th 2018