Chianti, Sangiovese - Felsina Wine | YEARS
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In 2013 the weather was cooler than in the previous years. Winter and early Spring rains supplied groundwater reserves and were responsible of a slight delay in the flowering of the vines. At the beginning of July, however, temperatures above the seasonal average favoured all conditions for recovering. The grapes grew and ripened gradually throughout the summer as the month of August registered regular average temperatures and September was lovely with significant temperature swings between night and day. Harvest begun a week later than in the last years, which saw early harvests, still it was within the traditional timing in Chianti Classico area. Grapes which were picked up until October 10th were of excellent quality. The repeated rainfalls in the second half of the month slowed down harvest time and required a careful grape selection but quality was still good, grapes were healthy and rich in aromatic compound and excellent in the concentration of polyphenols. The final result was a more balanced production and lower in alcoholic content, in comparison with vintage 2011 and 2012.  


Climate in 2012 was rather changeable. Winter was altogether mild with temperatures above seasonal average, except for a very few days in February when it heavily snowed and temperatures were remarkably low. A rainy Spring delayed sprouting/budding of the vines and determined a light decrease in grapes quantity. June and July registered scarce little rainfalls. August was hot but water-ground reserves secured the normal process of grapes ripening. Good weather characterized September throughout, together with the right amount of rainfalls and noticeable diurnal temperature swings. The harvest of Sangiovese grapes begun on September 14th and was completely over by October 5th. Grapes were a 10% less in total quantity with respect to the previous harvest but perfectly sound and healthy in conditions.  


A continuous seesaw in climate evolution characterized all four seasons of 2011 year. A rainy and mild winter came ahead to a spring started 10 days earlier than usual, with temperatures above seasonal average in April. At the end of May and beginning of June abundant rains guaranteed optimal water supplies to the vines which grew with a little advance with respect to traditional vegetative growth. Summer heat, never extreme, favoured perfect grapes ripening and little rains in August, together with temperatures still above seasonal average, sustained the ongoing early development of phenological phases of the vines. Groundwater reserves and optimal temperature range were essential. As a consequence harvest 2011 began 15-20 days in advance and was carried out from the beginning of September to early October. Grapes were in perfect conditions, excellent in quality though 10% less than usual in quantity.  


Weather conditions in the 2010 growing season were quite out of the norm. A cold winter, with temperatures hovering around zero, gave way to a cool, rainy spring that slightly delayed the onset of flowering. The heat that arrived in July however considerably speeded up the growth cycle. The groundwater reserves had built up during winter and spring, and received fresh input from frequent summer rains, so they enabled the vines to resist the heat during the first half of July, thus avoiding heat stress and promoting excellent-quality fruit. August and the first half of September were hot, but with temperatures that were below average. The second half of September and the first part of October brought splendid days and stable conditions. Fèlsina started its Sangiovese harvest in the third week in September, some 10 days later than in 2009, and finished on October 13. The beautiful sunny days in the final days of September and early October, with their high temperatures, particularly in the middle of the day, contributed to making this a high-quality harvest. The 2010 vintage wines show intensity of colour and aroma; the alcohol is definitely not too high, so that the fragrances are unimpeded and the wine will be approachable early. Good acid levels however augur long life to these wines. With regard to overall quality, the 2010 vintage is on a par with that of the last few years.  


The 2009 vintage was the child of a fairly balanced growing season, at least until the end of June. Winter brought abundant rains and mild temperatures, which encouraged early vine growth and brought slightly forward budbreak and the successive phases, including flowering, which took place in late May, when temperatures reached 5-6°C above average. Just the right amount of rainfall in June built up groundwater reserves, enabling the vines to confront summer’s high temperatures and dry conditions. These high temperatures lasted, in fact, through the first week in September, without adversely affecting balanced vegetative growth, since diurnal temperature swings from late August on ensured the vines beneficial low night-time temperatures. Such balanced conditions continued through all of September and, although there was some welcome rainfall, the return of sunny weather brought with it full ripeness in the grapes.  


The 2008 growing season was characterised by ever-changing weather. A mild winter with just the right amount of rain was followed by a spring with below-average temperatures and large amounts of rain, which slowed down the first stages of vine growth and lessened fruit set somewhat. The last ten days of June saw improved conditions and ripening grew apace. The summer heat in fact led to fears of heat stress in the vines, but that fear was dissipated by mid-August rains, which allowed the vines to breathe and gave them renewed energy. Higher temperatures quickly arrived, in the latter part of August, and significant day-night temperature ranges led to notable sugar accumulation and to the development of crisp, fruity aromas that gave the grapes a vibrant, fresh-tasting charge. Pre-harvest weather remained favourable, with cool nights and practically no rain. The result was a return, after so many years of early harvests, to a more normal ripening pattern for Chianti Classico; we began picking sangiovese in mid-September and finished in mid-October. The grapes arrived in the cellar in optimal condition, sound and well balanced, making for a harvest that we can certainly regard as 5-star quality.  


Higher than average temperatures witnessed in winter and spring favoured a somewhat earlier than normal beginning of the vegetative cycle. A rise of three or four degrees in the second half of March and in April, in fact, caused the vines to bud an average of seven to twenty days earlier than most years. Various vineyards showed significant differences, even if separated only by a few metres of elevation. This situation not only did not reverse itself, but actually intensified over the next growth phase, the flowering, and then, later, during veraison. The worry about the lack of rain during the winter and much of spring was allayed, thanks to rains in June that restored water reserves in the vines. These months saw a drop in temperatures too, which slowed the growth process somewhat, but July’s heat restored a more normal pace. Cool summer nights prevented an excess of heat that would have brought premature ripening and threatened the complexity of the resultant wines. Despite the early budbreak, the ripening was only slightly early, particularly for late-ripening varieties such as sangiovese and cabernet. Rot and other problems were practically non-existent. The grape clusters arrived in the cellar perfectly sound and with good levels of sugars and acids, and outstanding concentration of polyphenols. All in all, a memorable growing season.  


The 2006 growing season witnessed seesaw weather. A normal winter and a mild spring, up until the first half of May, brought about early, vigorous growth in the vines. Cold weather returned in late May and the beginning of June, which in part slowed down the flowering and successive development stages. Fruit set was nonetheless satisfactory. The second part of June saw high temperatures and sun-filled days, which allowed the vines to make up for the slow growth momentum caused by the preceding months. High temperatures lasted through the end of July, but water reserves built up in the spring kept heat stress at bay. August was temperate, with some rain at the end, and September brought sunny days, a little rain, and good day-night temperature swings. Ripening thus proceeded flawlessly through October, which experienced sun but not excessive heat. The fruit at harvest showed good levels of sugar, excellent concentration, and ideal levels of polyphenols. The clusters were magnificent, looser and perhaps a tad lighter in weight than average, but extremely sound and well coloured. The outstanding quality of the Sangiovese of 2006 recalls that of the 1997 and 2001 vintages.  


The winter was characterised by rather rigid temperatures and has brought great water reserves thanks also to the light snowfalls at the end of February. The low temperatures in the first days of spring have initially delayed the development of the buds, which then showed to be regular in the month of April. The stable thermal and water conditions until the end of June have allowed a regular vegetative growing, granting a good setting (development into fruit). The month of June has been characterised by high temperatures, which have helped the grow of the vine with a very balanced grape production per plant. Unlike the prediction of the meteorologists, July and August have revealed themselves to be quite “fresh” with some rain falls at regular time intervals. As a result the ripening of the grapes was slightly late, though they developed regularly and without stress factors. The remarkable thermal range during the nights for the whole month of September has assured the aromatic complexity of the grapes; in addition has the cultivation intervention on the vineyard (stripping) contributed to raise the sugar concentration, the polyphenol components and the aroma of the grape.  


The 2004 growing season enjoyed generally moderate weather, which yielded well-balanced wines with admirable complexity. Winter was mild, with only a few cold spells, and those concentrated over just a few days. Spring saw much more variability, with weeks of cool weather alternating with summer-like heat. Rainfall was largely in the spring, and brought about good budbreak and flowering and excellent growth, while the subsequent ripening stage was even and consistent. Since soil water reserves were plentiful, with water released gradually over the summer months, the vines suffered no stress. The moderate character of the season continued through August, while optimal diurnal temperature ranges throughout September ensured excellent aromatic complexity in the fruit. The Sangiovese that was harvested through October 10 was of outstanding quality; a succession of rains in the latter part of the month slowed the harvest, but the quality of the grapes was good even during that period.  


Winter and the beginning of spring were very mild. During the night of April 9th there was a hard frost that damaged the Sangiovese buds in some of the winery’s vineyards reducing the yields very much. The summer was extremely hot and dry, temperatures were above the average form June all through the end of August. Grapes were perfectly ripe 15 days earlier than usual. The picked grapes were stunningly beautiful, with perfect bunches, the single grapes nicely distant from each other, very small with thick skins and intense aromas. Vintage 2003 will give us very few bottles but of great (above-average) quality.  


February and March were dry and rather cold, especially the first half of February. Bud burst took place earlier than the last years. However, there were no problems, bud burst was gradual. In June, July and August there was increasing rainfall, maximum reached in August with 176mm. Temperatures were medium high average, never exceeding 24°C. The veraison took place between July 25th and August 1st. In September there were several intense thunderstorms that brought 249mm of rainfall, alternated with some hot days. The last three weeks before the harvest weather conditions were very good and improved very much the quality of a vintage that did not seem to be one of the best. During the harvest there was sparse rainfall alternated with hot and sunny days. 2002 is a vintage of medium importance. Wines are well-structured, with intense perfumes, medium colour intensity, rightly tannic, good alcoholic strength. Similar to vintage 1991 and 1998. Medium long. Over years the winery’s work has been dedicated to quality and this gave us, even in a difficult year, a good result. Due to the thinning out of grapes and intense leaf removal, followed by a careful selection of the grapes, the damage of this vintage concerned first of all the quantity. The quality is good.  


January was rather mild; there were nine days of rain that partly slowed down the pruning process. February was colder. There were two days of rain. Very little rain also in March, temperatures were still rather low and delayed the beginning of the vegetative growth of the vines. Therefore the tyning-up could be done as usual. In April there was some late frost that did not cause any damage to the vines tough: the flowering and the fruit set were good. Summer temperatures were extremely high all trough the middle of September (reaching 39°C). During this whole period, because of the mitigating presence of the surrounding woods and favourable natural ventilation, rather characteristic during the hot season in the Fèlsina vineyards, the day and night temperature fluctuations were good. Some vineyards were shortly and skilfully irrigated at need. A few rainy days then favoured the final ripening of the grapes.  


Winter was rather mild. There was little rainfall, it snowed twice. Weather conditions were favorable in spring. Frequent rainfall and rising temperatures since the month of May were responsible for an excellent and rich flowering. The summer heat shortened the time between the different phenological phases. Veraison took place ten days earlier than usual. In August temperatures rose even more, values were above the average. Though this did not hinder the ripening process. On the contrary, because of the heat the grape skins became nicely thick. In the second half of the month the excessive grapes were thinned out. In the beginning of a beautiful September there was little, useful night rainfall. At the beginning of October we harvested grapes of good quality.  


There was only little rainfall at the beginning of the year (one day of snow-rain) and at least five days of intense cold. February and March were rather rainy. Therefore the pruning and the tying-up of the vines was slowed down. A mild spring with very few rainy days followed, favouring a good flowering and fruit set. The summer (July and August) was extremely hot. On 50% of the days temperatures rose up to over 30°C. An exceptional fruit set determined an overproduction in the vineyards. The excessive grapes had to be thinned out. In September there were a few days of helpful rainfall; high day and night temperatures led to a gradual but early ripening. Weather conditions were absolutely perfect during the grape harvest 1999.  


Temperatures and rainfall in winter and spring were well-balanced. Flowering and fruit set took place earlier than usual. At the end of June, although temperatures raised, there were some days of rainfall that favored a perfect closing of the bunches. Summer temperatures were above the average, there was no rainfall and a few extremely hot days, but no relevant consequences for the vines: the vineyards had been worked and water had gathered in the soil’s depth, bunches and leaves had been thinned out. Weather conditions were summery all through the month of September. There was little rainfall and the grapes ripened slowly and constantly. The harvest started in the beginning of October, grapes were healthy with well-balanced organoleptic characteristics.  


The end of winter and the beginning of spring were mild and dry, favoring an early bud burst (about ten days earlier than usual). In April temperatures decreased causing a temporary stand-still of the bud growth. The summer was warm and sunny all through the month of September and the whole harvest period. Grapes were exceptionally healthy and had a high sugar level. The yield of the 1997 vintage was smaller than expected, but outstanding as far as quality is concerned, maybe the best vintage of the last fifty years.  


Weather conditions were rather irregular with frequent rainfall and low summer temperatures, that delayed the ripening of the grapes for about ten days. At the same time it kept the natural acidity above the average with positive consequences on the primary aromatic patrimony of the grapes. In the middle of September the weather improved distinctly, it was hot and dry. Nevertheless the grapes had to be selected carefully during the picking, only grapes of good quality were to be used.  


Temperatures were very high in the critical months of July and August. There was no rainfall at all. The persisting heat and drought caused dehydration in some grapes. Between September 16th and 25th there was some rainfall. Perfect weather through the middle of October. Picking conditions were very good. Despite the high temperatures the grape skins did not loose their consistency. Slightly higher pH value, round, little less acidity than other vintages of Fontalloro.  


It was a good vintage, the climatic situation was fairly regular, even if the temperatures were slightly to low in the middle of summer.  


Perfect conditions of rainfall and temperatures in spring and summer. All phenological phases (budding, flowering, fruit set and veraison) were perfect. Good day night temperature fluctuation before the harvest, grapes rich in fruit flavors. Exceptional harvest finish. This vintage, more than any other, emphasizes the Sangiovese characteristics: great extracts, perfect anthocyanins and polyphones.  


Bud loss during the flowering because of a very rainy spring, followed by a reduced fruit set. As a result the yield was low. Very little rainfall in summer. Sunny September and October, grapes ripened perfectly. A Five-Star-vintage, in some cases even better than 1985 vintage in Tuscany.  


A slightly postponed bud burst because of lower temperatures in springtime. Grapes were thinned out 20 days after the fruit set. Leaf removal 30 days before the harvest.  


A mild spring. Temperatures were fairly high during the budding period and above the average in summer. Very little rainfall in August and the first half of September. No climatic variations during the harvest. 30% yield reduction. All grapes were perfectly healthy and rich in extracts.  


A very mild spring with medium high temperatures that brought about a regular bud burst. Excellent flowering and fruit set because of the little rainfall. In summer again very little rainfall. Sunny September and October, the grapes ripened regularly.