here is an email that I sent to a friend in Monforte...
How are things?
Things are starting slowly here. How are they for you at Sandrone? At the same time this year, the winery had already finished crushing the Barbera. Things are delayed this year as we have just only finished Dolcetto. I spent the last two days processing varying qualities of dolcetto. The Monforte fruit was healthy and tasted good. In contrast, the Serralunga vineyard had low yields and significant millerandage at the bottom of the slope while I found botrytis-driven rot in the upper part of the slope and again near Castiglione. The botrytis secretes a degrading enzyme called laccase that accelerates cell death. It is also resistant to the inhibiting effect of the antioxidative qualities of SO2 so I tried my best to cut it out in the vineryard or remove it on the sorting table.
This morning we pumped over four tanks of dolcetto but the process was halted by a temporary power outage. This afternoon we will rack the 2007 Barolo from barrique to botti as our tasting on Tuesday indicated that the new oak is a bit too dominant and needs to be curtailed by a larger and more neutral vessel such as botti. It looks like we will not start the Barbera until Sunday or Monday but that depends on the upcoming weather forecasts. Tentatively, it looks like we will start with Nebbiolo at the end of the month.
The little grocery store in Castiglione Falletto is pretty depressing but I've found a great little food store in Alba. I've found sublime cheese, salumi, pasta and grisini there. This afternoon I made a light gourmet lunch, before I things get too crazy here. To start, we had a salsiccia di bra(a raw veal and pork sausage with white wine and grana) with an arugula salad with chunks of 24 month parmesean reggiano on the side. For the main, I cooked a super thin freshly made egg pasta tossed with sweet butter and Alba truffles. I served a Poggio Salvi rose from Montalcino, one of three gifts from the Tuscan winery; it has not been released publicly yet.
Been tasting a fair amount of unfinished wine in barrel and botti. Tasted all the Barolo cru from 2006 and 2007 on Tuesday. These are killer wines. This afternoon, tasted the finished recent releases of cru Barbera to evaluate the evolution in the bottle. I've been fortunate to be tasting some fantastic "house" wines at home for dinner as well.
Let me know if you want to meet for dinner this week.