THE 1998 GROWING SEASON
60% Cabernet Sauvignon
The end of the winter and the beginning of the spring were both mild, resulting in an early budbreak. Flowering took place at the end of May, and was followed by uniform growth of the grapes. The summer months were quite hot, with above average temperatures, and also dry. Indeed, the entire year was dry, with a total rainfall of only 450 mm, though humidities were average. The veraison, which was quite uniform, took place in mid-July. At the end of July the bunches were thinned to insure that those left on the vines would ripen under optimal conditions.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING
The varietals were harvested as they reached perfect ripeness, and specifically: Merlot: During the first two weeks of September. Cabernet Sauvignon: From mid-September to mid-October Sangiovese: During the third week of September The different varietals were vinified separately, with destemming and soft-pressing followed by primary fermentation in steel tanks for a period of 7 days, followed by another 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. Once the malolactic fermentation was complete the wine spent about 10 months in 225 liter barriques, followed by 6 months of bottle aging prior to release.
Wine Spectator 86