Everything you need to know about the Piedmont 2000 vintage, including Barolo and Barbaresco wines.
Quality is good to very good in all the major DOC/Gs.
Unsettled weather with often unseasonal extremes made this a difficult year to manage in the vineyard, but producers who reacted promptly to the vagaries of the weather had cause for satisfaction with the harvest.
A warm spring with well distributed rain brought flowering forward and laid the basis for what could have been an abundant crop, but the early promise was complicated first by a cool damp July and then by record high temperatures in August.
Hail storms hit the region at the end of the month, causing significant damage especially in the Alba DOCs. The red grape harvest began around 10 September and was all finished, up to ten days early, by 15 October.
Quantities across the region were uneven. The total crush was down by just under 10% on last year, but the amount of red wine made was almost 20% less than 1999. Quality is good to very good in all the major DOC/Gs.
For Moscato it was probably the best vintage in the last ten years. Low yields for Barbera and Nebbiolo resulted in very concentrated musts with high sugar and very good colour and extract, and also good balancing acidity.
In Barolo and Barbaresco, although the wines may be in short supply they will be well worth looking for. The style of the vintage looks softer than 1996 and more like the ripe and full-bodied 1997 and 1999.
Extra commentary from Tom Maresca (Originally published on Decanter.com in 2004)
The 2000 vintage in particular had received a rush of early publicity, creating the impression that it would be a superb vintage. In fairness, it should be noted that the hype originated with journalists, not winemakers, many of whom were far more measured in their assessment. In the final analysis, such caution was justified.
Aldo Vacca, director and winemaker of Produttori di Barbaresco, compared the vintages: ‘The 1999 has great character, while 2001 is less powerful, and more elegant. In 2000 the vintage is more alcoholic; its fruit is almost sweet because the grapes had higher than normal sugar levels at harvest.’
Bruno Rocca, a prestigious small producer, made the same comparison even more emphatically: ‘Both 1999 and 2001 are fantastic vintages, much better than 2000.’
New oak, now widely used, was evident only in elegant grace notes on big, harmonious wines and rarely as an over-riding vanilla flavour, though the opposite was true with many of the Barolo 2000s.
Though very young, many of the wines revealed the distinctive flavours of their terroir, particularly in the mineral notes evident in many of the wines from the commune of Neive.
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