An indifferent vintage of variable quality
Bud break and flowering were late everywhere due to a cool and wet spring. June and July were also wet in the north and centre of the region, although Montalcino missed the worst of the rain. Very hot weather through August and the first two weeks of September partially retrieved the situation but more rain at harvest time complicated it again. The crop was abundant, with higher than average yields. The quality of the fruit was medium to good although the grapes generally lacked concentration.
A mixed vintage for Sangiovese, better than 1989 which had similar weather, but on the whole not for long ageing. Chianti and Montepulciano were most affected by the rain. The early releases from these DOCGs were balanced and pleasant but light. Very few Riservas were made. The best results came from the early ripening international varieties and from Montalcino. Although not a fashionable vintage for Brunello, in fact some good, solid wines were made, the best of which are still drinking well.
Castello di Ama’s Merlot Vigna L’Apparita did well. In Chianti generally Sangiovese/Cabernet blends like Montefili’s Bruno di Rocca and Querciabella’s Camartina were interesting. Sassicaia had ripe, fleshy fruit but perhaps not the structure to develop long term. Case Basse, Argiano, Poggio Antico and in particular Salvioni, made Brunello well above the general standard of the vintage.