Overall production: 233,000 hl
Seasonal trend: 2012 will be remembered in the Gallo Nero area for the great worry at the end of summer when, after months of drought, they think a very hard vintage was about to come. Luckily, already at the end of August, after a season of low levels of water and one of the hottest summers of the last years in Chianti, rainfalls came back and led to get enough water to promise a good vintage of Chianti Classico despite this unusual season. Off course, the climatic trend registered up to end of August influenced the grape quality then gone to the cellar. The production of 2012 is around 235,000 hl with a quantity decrease of about 16% than last year, but the quality of this vintage is surprisingly rising month after month.
The beginning of the year started with a normal seasonal trend: cold and snow in January and February, and a mild and rainy spring, especially in April. After the rainfalls of beginning of May, water disappeared not only in the Gallo Nero area but throughout the whole country and, at the same time, temperatures rose. July and August brought, along with different phenomena with more or less epic names, boiling temperatures. These conditions, associated to poor water supplies of the ground, partially slowed down the grape ripening process but it never stopped. Rainfalls at beginning of September luckily relaunched the natural development of the grapes and, along with the general decrease of average temperatures and the greater night temperature shifts occurred also in the hottest months in Chianti, favoured the recovery of a situation that seemed very difficult especially for the latest varieties like Sangiovese.
The harvest focused on Sangiovese. It will be just the most important grape variety of Chianti Classico to make this new vintage standing out: in fact, Sangiovese, thanks to its greater ability to adapt to hard temperature conditions, survived the climatic imbalance of this season.
The positive effects of September allowed an excellent development of ripening process of the grapes that were harvested when it is normally due in the Chianti Classico area, between the end of September and beginning of October. Grapes came to the cellar in perfect health conditions thanks to high temperatures and the lack of humidity that prevented the vine diseases to arise (mildew, powdery mildew, etc.). This allows a proper and sudden development of fermentation that brought a medium-sized alcohol level (around 14 maximum). The wines of Chianti Classico 2012 are very balanced with an exceptional balance between alcohol, acidity and polyphenols that convey smooth wines made of excellent grapes and a good and not extreme alcoholic content.