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1981 vintage guide for Italy Tuscany

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A moderately good vintage with few star wines

Weather Conditions

Very mixed weather made this a stop and start year for the vineyards. April was bright and sunny in Tuscany , but a cool wet May and June meant late flowering. The return of very hot weather in July and a warm September brought the vines more or less back on schedule, although there was a lot of variation in the dates of picking across the region. Earlier harvests produced the best results.

Best Appellations

Sangiovese wines on the whole had good fruit but only average body and lowish acidity, which made it more of an early drinking vintage than a long keeping one. There was attractive Chianti, but only severe selection enabled producers to turn out respectable Riservas. Results in other parts of the region were similar. Montepulciano was at the level of 1982 and 1983, Montalcino slightly below that of the two following vintages.

Best Producers

Castello di Rampolla and Verrazzano scored well for their Riservas. At Montepulciano Avignonesi made very successful Vino Nobile and at Montalcino producers who rated the vintage highly included Barbi Colombini, Biondi Santi and Altesino.

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