You may recall our opening harvest review wasn’t shy about noting vintage 2018 as a precocious one.
So how did it all turn out?
Well, almost 7 weeks on, and with late harvesters vines still happily hanging on to their healthy and natural “surmaturato” fruit, 2018 will now equally go down on record as one of Friuli’s longest harvests.
Endless sun-filled blue skies and consistent daily highs in the mid-to-late 20’s ensured that, all over Friuli, #V18 will certainly live long in the memory. When quizzed, it was the luxury of being able to pick exactly what and when they wanted that painted such broad smiles on the faces of every producer we met.
At that point we were wondering if those falling temperatures might bump the vintage back to a more traditional September harvest. Well, hindsight confirms it certainly shifted the axis toward what would become a stellar vintage performance.
Over the past few years, the unpredictability of seasonal change has become an ever present reminder that climatically something is afoot. Against such a precarious backdrop, the past two months have been a display of pure bliss. Diurnal temperature shifts, from hot days into cool nights, were absolutely what any winemaker would have ordered. Light rainfall, if any, was sparse and so fears of any late mildew and other unwanted molds were averted. Quite simply, with nothing to force their hand, this was as A’ LA CARTE a harvest as you could ever imagine.
Yet curiously it seems the ripeness of this years fruit has stimulated a few to push their style and evolutionary wine making envelope. A little additional skin contact is something we’re going to be looking out for in the coming years.
Quality is very high across all REDS, with both native grapes and international varieties achieving the elusive harmony of Technical (Acids & Sugars) and Phenolic (Tannins etc) MATURITY. Something of a real rarity in the Italian northeast, it is not overstating it to say that, overall 2018 has been a remarkable, noteworthy vintage on so many levels… A MULTI-STORY vendemmia !!!
In the cellar it now requires the experience of a careful, patient and steady hand to steer these wines toward the level of excellence, which we believe they are surely destined to achieve.