A decent vintage with a good late ripening season, quality depends on the individual grower
The year began with temperatures back to normal levels after two unusually warm winters. Healthy amounts of snow fell in January and March, helping to restore water reserves in the subsoil. Bud-break was on time and mild weather with plenty of rain meant an initially rapid growth of vegetation. Frost damage was limited to low-lying, lower quality vineyards. Continued rain meant that peronospora was a common problem in mid-May. June, however, brought hot, sunny weather alternating with storms. This pattern continued into July. August was unusually cloudy and often cool, but the weather turned around in September to allow a good final ripening and harvesting period for the late-ripening black grape varieties.
1999 looks to be a good vintage, hugely overshadowed by its two predecessors. Quality is particularly dependent on yield in 1999. As so often in the Langhe, the top growers will shine while much average quality wine will be produced.
The style of the best wines is more nervous and less opulent than 1997 and 1998. Good complexity and aromatics are already evident in many Nebbioli and there are many very good Barberas. Dolcetto was successful yet again with a vivid primary fruit character.