Vintage guide: Tuscany 2000
Cabernet and Sangiovese have the edge on Merlot; good vintage on the coast, in Chianti Classico and Montalcino and very good at Montepulciano.
2000 was a difficult year for growers in Tuscany with unsettled and often abnormal weather conditions. An early spring brought flowering and fruit set forward but a wet and warm June was accompanied by widespread attacks of peronospera. Temperatures fell in July but then rose again sharply in August, which for the third year running was very hot and dry, causing local problems of drought. September began with storms but continued with fine sunny weather which helped to redress the situation, although isolated areas in the central hills were hit by hail. Picking began at least ten days early and in places up to three weeks ahead of the norm.
Production was down for the region as a whole by about 5%. As always in vintages with extreme weather conditions, quality is mixed, not only across the region but also within the individual DOC/G zones. Musts generally had high sugar content and ripe tannins, but reduced aroma and low natural acidity. The wines will tend to be soft and round and probably more suited to earlier bottling and drinking than long ageing. Generally Cabernet and Sangiovese could have the edge over the earlier picked Merlot. Official sources rate the vintage as good on the coast, in Chianti Classico and Montalcino and very good at Montepulciano.