Consorzio Vino Carmignano

Piazza Vittorio Emanuelle II, 59015 Carmignano (PO)
Italy

Telephone +39 335 215070

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  • 01  Wines (according to cultivable areas)
  • 01.01  Europe
  • 01.01.09  Italy
  • 01.01.09.18  Toscana

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Mar 16, 2017

CARMIGNANO WINES VINTAGE CARDS

CARMIGNANO WINES VINTAGE CARDS

2016
The season autumn/winter 2015-2016 had average seasonal rainfall and temperatures certainly much higher than average. March and April have had heavy rains and always temperatures much higher than average. Budding was therefore very early, as usual in Carmignano. But the temperatures and the climate trend of May and June with temperatures below than average and good rains have rebalanced the vegetative cycle. With July and August instead it has begun a very period of drought and with temperatures above the seasonal average but that had no effect on plant growth, regular also by virtue of the excellent water reserves accumulated in the ground in the previous period. August showed very high temperatures during the day, but also a high night thermal range. The grapes thus continued their maturation, showing only some hydro-stress in younger installations and sandstone grounds or more clayish. Overall, however, the grapes, in late August, early September when they started the harvest operations for the whites wines, the rosé and the most premature reds wines varieties, presented themselves in an excellent state of health, with values of sugary stantard, acidity and phenolic maturity well balanced. September was followed by very hot temperatures and no rain until the break of weather conditions occurred on the day of September 15. Copious rainfall and even a temperatures' drop have not caused damages to the grapes, which in fact benefited from these new conditions to complete their cycle in a more balanced and regular mode. We started the harvest of our most important grape, the Sangiovese, on September 14th. We carefully analysed maturation across the vines to obtain the good result we wanted. We finished harvesting on September 28th. The only grape that we had to harvest 10 days earlier than in previous years was our Cabernet Sauvignon.  All grapes were very healthy with perfect maturation! 2016 is a great vintage!
 

2015

The rainfall was average during the autumn-winter of 2014-2015 and the temperature was definitely higher than usual. The rainfall during March and April was also high and the temperature was much higher than average.

A dry spell started in May and lasted till July with a high temperature that luckily did not influence the vegetative development of the vines, which was normal thanks to the excellent water supply in the soil that was accumulated during the previous months.

There were some good rains in August during the first 15 days and during the second 15 days of the month together with an average temperature. The rains in September were not significant and the temperature was lower than average. This completed a perfect weather trend and slowed down and made the vegetative cycle of the vines longer, although the budding phase started very early at the beginning of April. 

The harvest started at the beginning of September when the grapes for the production of Vin Ruspo (Barco Reale di Carmignano Rosato DOC) were picked. The early ripening grape varieties (Merlot) were picked by the 20th of September. The Sangiovese grapes, depending on the various crus, were picked between the end of September and the first fifteen days of October.  Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (which are called Uva Francesca in this area) were picked from the end of September till mid October.

2015 could become a historical vintage. In fact the weather trend made the vegetative cycle of the vines very long. This made the grapes reach an optimal phenolic ripening. Consequently the alcohol strength of the wines was higher than average with a good acidity and an intense aroma and, due to the perfect rainfall distribution before and during the vegetative cycle, with a powerful, but elegant and harmonic, structure. These wines are suitable for long ageing.

 

2014

During the autumn-winter of 2013-2014 there were heavy rains and the temperature was definitely higher than average for the season. There were heavy rains and the temperature was above average also during February and March. Instead the temperature and the rainfall were average during April and May. For this reason the budding phase took place very early in comparison to 2013 and in general the 2014 vintage can be considered one of the earliest in relation to the budding phase. But starting from the month of June and for the whole summer, the climate of this vintage was quite unique. During June, July, August and September the temperature was below average, but rainfall was above average. This slowed down the vegetative cycle and balanced it out. The rain at the beginning and in mid September, and a particularly heavy rainfall on the 19th of September with bad hail damage in some vineyards, took place when the grapes were still ripening so that the damage was not very serious. Luckily there was no rain at the end of September and at the beginning of October and the temperature was average. Therefore, the grapes reached a good ripeness and it was possible to pick grapes which were on the whole very healthy (all estates carried out a careful selection of the clusters during harvest), maintaining the main characteristics of the vintage intact. The harvest started after mid September for the early ripening grape varieties (Merlot), while Sangiovese was picked between the end of September and the beginning of October. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked at the beginning of October. On the whole a good phenolic ripening of the grapes was reached. The alcohol strength of the wines is slightly lower than average, the acidity is excellent, the aromatics are very intense, the structure is elegant and harmonic.

 

 

2013

There was a lot of rain during the autumn and the winter of 2012. In February the temperature was particularly low followed by March during which the temperature was lower than average. In February and March there were evenly distributed and heavy rainfalls. In April rain was scarce and the temperature was average for the season. Consequently the budding phase was late in comparison to 2012 and to 2011. In May the temperature was lower than average and the rain was evenly distributed. The weather conditions during this month slowed down the vegetative cycle of the vines. The average temperature remained lower than the temperature in 2012, in fact the flowering phase started later. After some light rains between the 5th and 24th of June it was dry up to the 25th of August, with a temperature that reached the summer levels and that was well over 30 degrees Celsius. After the first days of the month of August the temperature remained under the seasonal average of the previous years. In September, except for the beginning when it was over 30 degrees Celsius, the temperature was below average and the day/night temperature range was very wide. All this made the harvest in Carmignano start very late. The vines could rely upon the water supply that was accumulated during the winter and the spring, there was no hydric stress for the plants, as in the previous vintages, and the grapes could ripen slowly and gradually. 2013 could be compared with the 2004 harvest. The harvest started after mid September for the early ripening grape varieties (Merlot) while Sangiovese was picked only from the beginning of October up to the 15th 20th of October. Cabernet Sauvignon was picked at the beginning/mid of October. Cabernet Franc was picked a few days earlier. On the whole during 2013 an excellent phenolic ripening was reached by the grapes and the wines have a well balanced alcohol strength, an excellent acidity, very intense aromatics and colour, and a good and harmonic polyphenol content.

 

2012

There was no much rain during the autumn and the winter of 2011-2012.  In February  the temperature was particularly low followed by March  during which the temperature was average for the month and the rain was scarce.  At the end of the month the temperature increased , consequently the budding phase was very early on the first days of April. In April and  May the temperature  was in line with the seasonal average ad it rained enough (240 mm) to partially  replenish the land’s water reserves . The unsettled  weather conditions  of these two months meant that the growth of the shoots proceeded slowly and gradually. The average temperature during this period was lower than vintage 2011, consequently  flowering began 5-7 days later than 2011 . After a few scattered showers between 10 and 13 June there was no more significant  rainfall until 26 August and temperatures rose to summer levels , often exceeding 30°C. Towards the end of the August the temperature dropped and there was a return of rainfall (60 mm),  allowing the vines to replenish their water reserves and bring the ripening of the grapes to completion. The rain at  the end of August also permitted to have a lower than expected sugar concentration in  the grapes and also to preserve  a good acidity  and gradually to complete the phenolic  maturity. Only  the younger vineyards  with roots systems not completely developed and the vineyards with particularly sandy soil  had already  began lose their leaves and some grapes had already shown the first sign of withering, but generally the terroir of Carmignano had  wonderful results. The small size of the grapes have meant a drastic reduction of the production  (10-30%). 2012 production was even lower than the modest 2011 production. On the whole during 2012 an excellent phenolic ripening was reached by the grapes ant the wins have a good alcohol strength, a good acidity, a very  elegant and  balanced structure. 

 

2011

Balanced rainfall and temperatures slightly below average. Only at the end of August there were above normal temperatures. The rainfall progress has led to a slow and steady ripening with good sugar content in the days before harvest. The latter was slightly earlier than the average, due to a period of dry heat in the second week of August, but it has proved excellent qualitatively and quantitatively. The feature vintages are the excellent chromatic note, the excellent development of the aromatic component and a not too high pH, with good freshness of the wines, soft tannins and sweet, well balanced wines, juicy, elegant.

 

2010

Relatively high rainfall and normal average temperatures. Rain distribution were important to the middle of August, followed by a dry period, to resume the harvest around with benefit especially for the sangiovese. Normal temperatures throughout the period, especially in August and in the last stages of maturation. Well developed aromatic component and freshness, while the concentration is slightly below average. The wines have otiime floral and fruit notes, good style, have a good body.

 

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CARMIGNANO:
THE ORIGINAL WINE REGION’S 300th ANNIVERSARY

The cultivation of the vine at Carmignano is shrouded in history. Here, wines have been produced through the centuries, from the Roman era to Medieval times, through the Renaissance to the modern epoch. This fact alone is not uncommon throughout Italy. What is unusual is that here at Carmignano, Cosimo de' Medici issued an edict in the year 1716 which is the first example of the delimitation of an area for a DOC denomination. Carmignano, Chianti, Pomino and Valdarno di Sopra are nowadays well recognised DOCG and DOC areas which, in the year 2016 attained 300 years of denomination status. For three centuries the local people have been striving to have the area recognised as  quality wine growing land,  producing wines that are both  distinctive and very much tied to the territory. Carmignano has been, and still is, a star player in the affirmation of “Tuscany” as a world destination, through it's history, it's wines and it's carefully crafted agricultural food products.

 

THE AREA

The geographical area delimited by the DOC denomination lies within the small mountain range of Montalbano. The slopes are favourably exposed and are of relatively modest elevation, usually not more than 300 meters above sea level. The hills of Carmignano are open to the Florence-Prato plain, allowing the area good ventilation and adequate sunlight. Moreover, the fresh winds from the nearby Appennine range, which cool the torrid summer nights, create an optimal range of temperatures for the cultivation of vines. It is not too rainy and fortunately the rain falls mainly in autumn and winter, though moisture is never lacking in the summer.

The soils in the area have very different characteristics, from sandy soils of the Oligocene period, to the flaky clays with calcareous formations, or the large swathes of limestone and whitish chalky marl.

 

THE HISTORY  The prized characteristics of the wines produced in the Carmignano area have been known for a very long time. In the 1300's a certain Pietro Domenico Bartoloni mentions in his chronicles that the wines of Carmignano “are excellent.”  Ricci, in his “Memorie storiche di Carmignano” in 1895, refers that Ser Lapo Mazzei bought, on the 8th December 1396, on account of Marco Datini, 15 'soma' of Carmignano wine at the price of “un fiorino suggello”, one Florin, for each 'soma', this being roughly four times the going rate for the best wines of the time. Redi (1673) in his well known dithyramb Bacco in Toscana, speaks in glowing terms of Carmignano wine, “ma se giara io prendo in mano di brillante Carmignano così grato in sen mi piove che ambrosia e nettar non invidio a Giove”, saying that if he were to get hold of a flask of Carmignano wine he would feel so grateful that he would envy Jupiter neither ambrosia nor nectar.

 

Carmignano wine became well known even outside the area, so much so that the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de' Medici  announced that he wanted to define, once and for all, the limits of the “Vino di Carmignano” area, together with those of three other wines. There are many other examples of the recognition this wine enjoyed, following the edict, which confirm the particular qualities associated with it, to the extent that it was easily distinguished from other equally well known wines produced in other areas of Tuscany. Repetti (1833) states that “Carmignano” is one of the best and most well known wines of Tuscany. Amati, in his “Geographical dictionary of Italy” (1870) recommends, among other wines, “exquisite Carmignano”. Cusmano (1889) in his “Dictionary of Viticulture and Enology” cites Carmignano as one of the best wines produced in Tuscany. Palgiani (1891) in the “Supplement to the VI edition of the Enciclopedia Italiana” states, under the heading “Carmignano” “...between the areas watered by the Arno river and by the Ombrone river, exquisite wines are produced, the best in Tuscany”. This list could go on for a long while, but the above statements are enough for us to conclude that Carmignano, the wine produced within the area established by the Grand Duke's Edict, has always had it's own superlative qualities, which have set it apart from the other, excellent, Tuscan wines. It is the combination of microclimate and soil conditions that impart to this wine it's unique and recognisable character. It is for this reason that, in 1975, this wine won DOC status, and successively, in 1990, was one of the first among Italian wines to attain DOCG status.

 

CARMIGNANO CABERNET The local name, at Carmignano, for Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon grapes, is “Uva Francesca”, or French Grapes. It is told that Catherine de Medici, queen of France in the sixteenth century, was the one to have imported the first cuttings of this vine. Later, Cosimo III sent his enologists to Bordeaux to perfect their knowledge of this particular vine, which then became widely cultivated at Carmignano.

 

CARMIGNANO WINES  With only 200 hectares of vineyard, Carmignano is the smallest DOCG in Italy. This DOCG is composed of a mixture of grapes, with Sangiovese, Cabernet, Canaiolo nero, and other red grapes. This composition is in accordance with the current regulation (published on the 9th July 1998 in the Official Gazette), as wanted by the Consortium of the Wines of Carmignano, after a few changes were made to the first regulation which came out on the 20th October 1990. The regulation states that the composition of Carmignano wine is to be made up of: Sangiovese, making up at least 50%, Canaiolo nero, up to 20%, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, either individually or together from 10 to 20%, Trebbiano toscano, Canaiolo bianco and Malvasia del Chianti, either individually or all together making up 10%. Furthermore, other varieties of red grapes can make play a part in the composition of the wine up to 10% of the total. When Carmignano DOCG comes on to the market it must have the following characteristics: minimum total alcoholic strength by volume 12,5% vol, minimum total acidity 5,0 g/l, minimum non-reducing extract 22 g/l. Lastly, the wine must age in oak barrels, for at least eight months in the case of Carmignano and at least twelve months where Carmignano Riserva is concerned.

 

Other products, same quality: Barco Reale di Carmignano,  Barco Reale di Carmignano Rosato (Vin Ruspo) and Vin Santo di Carmignano -The same grapes that are used to make Carmignano are also used to produce Barco Reale di Carmignano doc,   a younger sibling of the DOCG wine, but more affordable while maintaining it’s characteristic quality. The name Barco Reale derives from the huge Medici estate which covered most of the territory around Carmignano and Poggio a Caiano, which was enclosed by a wall, the Muro del Barco Reale, which was more than thirty miles long. About three to four thousand hectolitres a year of this wine are produced.

Again, the Barco Reale di Carmignano Rosato doc, (with a production of about 500 hectolitres a year) which is also made from the above mix of grapes, is produced by racking off  from 5 to 10% of the must before the first fermentation of the Carmignano DOCG. The popular name of this wine (Vin Ruspo) comes from a tradition of the sharecroppers, who would steal one or two demijohns  from the last vats to be brought to the farm. The labourers would be careful to delay the arrival of the last grapes picked in the evening, meaning that for a whole night the containers, filled with grapes, would be stored awaiting the pressing the next morning. The weight of the grapes themselves would cause some wine to collect at the bottom of the containers, which the labourers would duly collect and steal, hence the name Ruspato, from the old verb ‘ruspare’ to scratch or scrape. This wine was necessarily a rosé because of the very brief contact it had with the skins. This theft eventually became recognised as a right.

Vin Santo di Carmignano – This wine is produced with Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca lunga, which make up at least 75%. Often San Colombano grapes are added. It comes also as Riserva (Reserve). The wine produced with Sangiovese (at least 50% plus other red varieties) takes the name of Vin Santo di Carmignano Occhio di Pernice. Usually the grapes are left to dry for three or four months on cane mats in a well-ventilated place, then they are soft-pressed; next the must is transferred to small chestnut kegs (about 70 lt). Here it undergoes various slow fermentation cycles, with natural yeasts, at room temperature.  Lastly, it is aged for many years on the lees in the same containers.

 

THE MARKET  40% of the product is sold on the Italian market, the remaining 60% is sold abroad. Carmignano is sent to most of the European Union including France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and, with particular success, to the Baltic countries, Sweden and Norway. Further afield, it is exported to the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan and Mexico.

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