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1998 vintage guide for Italy Tuscany

drink soon

Rain at harvest time caused some problems. A particularly good year for Brunello.

Weather Conditions

The long dry summer with exceptionally high temperatures created drought conditions in central and southern Tuscany. Regular ripening over this period depended very much on micro-climate; warmer, lower sites suffered. To complicate matters it began to rain in the third week of September and continued steadily until mid-October. Producers who were able to pick before the rain got very good results. Those who had to wait got a crop with varying degrees of dilution.

Best Appellations

Quality is mixed. Chiantis on the whole are light and fruity, with good colour but not a lot of structure, although there is a lot of diversity. While some producers have not made Riservas, others are looking forward to bringing out big, soft, concentrated wines over the next two years. Very much a wait-and-see vintage for Brunello, although the standard of some of the Rosso di Montalcino out now suggests it could be interesting. Merlot looks good, especially on the coast.

Best Producers

Pick of the Chiantis for drinking over the next 12 months : Cacchiano, Casaloste, Fontodi and Selvapiana. Sirio Pacenti, Tenuta Oliveto and Lambardi all made good Rosso di Montalcino.

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