Allegrini 2018

Langhe, down production (-10%), up bottled Barolo (+9%), Barbaresco (+9%) and Langhe (+14)

Positive 2019 vintage, elegant and balanced wines expected. Barolo 2016 and Barbaresco 2017 in the glasses, in preview, at “Grandi Langhe” 2020

We have to wait for the last data to have a definitive balance sheet, but we can already say that also in the Langa the 2019 vintage shows a slight decrease in production: from the hills of Barolo and Barbaresco to Dogliani, including Alba, for all the varieties and consequently all the denominations, there is a slight decrease in production with a positive outcome for quality and balance. This was reported by the technicians of the Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani, in the analysis of the vintage which has just ended. A trend that reflects the general situation among the vineyards in Piedmont, where wine production is estimated to have dropped by 10%. If on the one hand production is decreasing, on the other hand the bottled Barolo, Barbaresco and the Langhe denomination are growing. Up to 30 November 2019, Barolo recorded 10.16 million bottles, 840,000 more than in the same period in 2018 (+9%); Barbaresco also increased by 9% in the first 11 months of the year, with 3.5 million bottles, up 296,000. The exploit of Langhe Nebbiolo continues, with 6.8 million bottles, 800,000 more in just one year (+14%). Regarding the new vintages to be released in 2020, to date, we can only imagine a potential in bottles: 14 million for Barolo 2016, 4.5 million for Barbaresco 2017, 5.6 thousand for Langhe Nebbiolo 2018, 2.8 million for Dogliani 2018, 982,000 for Diano d’Alba 2018. “After a positive harvest like the one just concluded, we can expect elegant and balanced wines. In the meantime, we are getting ready to present the new vintages of our Docg and Doc with two unmissable appointments”, as the president of the Consorzio di Tutela Matteo Ascheri says. The first opportunity to taste them in preview will be at Grandi Langhe 2020, the two-day tasting of the new Docg and Doc vintages of Langhe and Roero scheduled for January 27 and 28 in Alba, in the event reserved for professionals who will be able to taste the labels of 206 wineries, while from February 4 to 6 the Consortium will fly to New York, with over 200 producers, for the first "Barolo&Barbaresco World Opening”, a Langarola celebration on American soil with a dinner for 4 hands, on February 5, signed by two of the best chefs in the world: Mauro Colagreco, Argentinean chef, but of Italian origins, of the French Mirazur of Menton, and Massimo Bottura of the Osteria Francescana of Modena. The celebration, then, will turn into a special event, with Alessandro Cattelan, one of the most beloved and popular faces and conductor, acting as a slaughterer, and the performance of Il Volo on stage.

Focus - The figures of the Langhe

There are about 10 thousand hectares of vineyards of the denominations protected by the Consortium (Barolo, Barbaresco, Dogliani, Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Langhe, Dolcetto d’Alba, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Verduno Pelaverga, Alba) divided as follows: Barolo 2149 hectares; Barbaresco 763; Dogliani 846; Diano d’Alba 236; Barbera d’Alba 1610; Nebbiolo d’Alba 949; Dolcetto d'Alba 1092; Langhe 1905 hectares (of which 606 Langhe Nebbiolo). A total of about 60 million bottles are produced. In the summer, the Consorzio di Tutela announced a three-year stop to the planting of new vineyards for the production of Barolo.

Focus - Harvest 2019 in Langa: technical analysis

Unlike last year’s particularly early vintage, the 2019 vintage will be remembered for having developed in a much more usual way. The agricultural season began slowly due to the protraction of the winter season until the month of February, with the consequent delay of the spring season, which led to a period of rain and low temperatures until the middle of March. Nevertheless, the vegetative recovery was regular: the heavy rainfall in April caused a slow start on the one hand, but on the other hand led to a considerable accumulation of water in the soil, compensating also for the scarce winter rainfall. The unstable weather with average temperatures not high continued throughout the month of May, confirming a postponement of about two weeks compared to the vegetative trend of recent years, but in line with a more traditional trend. The high temperatures in June, together with the availability of water in the soil, created the conditions for rapid vegetative development and this required a great deal of attention on the part of winemakers to stem any phytosanitary problems. The hottest period of the season was recorded between the last week of June and the first week of July, followed by days when milder temperatures alternated with rainy events. At the end of July there was the second heat wave of the summer, which ended with storms that were also intense, but not harmful to the vine; the rest of the summer season was spent in a mild climate with sporadic and regular rainfall that required the winemakers to manage the vineyard in terms of health. The month of September began with the only hailstorm phenomenon recorded in the Langa: on the 5th the most intense storm of the season hit our area with hail, which caused even considerable damage on limited portions of the territory. We can say that the damage was heavy but fortunately, from a territorial point of view, it was quite limited to two areas on the hills around the city of Alba, excluding most of the Barolo, Barbaresco and Dogliani areas.
The harvest began around the middle of September with the white grape varieties, and continued without interruption with Dolcetto, Barbera and lastly Nebbiolo. For all the varieties and consequently all the denominations we noted a slight drop in production which favoured quality and balance. The whites have good alcohol levels and slightly higher levels of acidity than the average of recent years, a factor that should however guarantee the freshness and persistence of the aromas. The sweets, mostly harvested around September 17, are very well presented in terms of phenolics and sugar accumulation; even the acid picture suggests wines with a very elegant potential, with peaks of excellence in the Doglianese. The summer, with warm peaks but with averages in the norm as far as our wine-growing area is concerned, has allowed Barbera to reach harvesting with optimal phenolic levels, slightly lower alcohol potentials compared to last year and an important acidity level; and it is perhaps the variety that, together with Nebbiolo, reveals most of the difference in the position of the vineyards. Nebbiolo was harvested in the second half of October and its analytical parameters are also “classic”, i.e. good sugar content and excellent polyphenolic framework suitable to ensure structured wines with very high ageing potential. In particular, there is a high accumulation of anthocyanins and therefore wines with an excellent colour are expected, especially considering its genetic characteristics. In conclusion, the vintage we brought to the winery can be defined as traditional, with a quality production despite the slight decrease in quantity compared to the previous year.

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