ROME – Arrived in Fumicino Airport this morning at about 8:30 a.m., following an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles via New York. After trying to start my car (I left the lights on over a week ago when I left!), I finally worked it out and left down the highway for home. I was traveling on the road that goes around Rome and finally connects with the A1 that goes north, and about 15 minutes into it, I ran into the remains of a hellacious hailstorm. The road had about three inches of hail on it, and everything was white like a winter’s storm in the north. And, of course, someone was following another car too closely and lost control. It took about a half-hour to clear up the mess. I sat in my car and tried to stay awake.
It seemed very cold and wet for early May in Rome, and when I arrived in Tuscany a few hours later, the weather wasn’t much better. It was wet and about 62 degrees – so much for dining al fresco in the warm spring Tuscan sun! I could see the vines were already in full growth, although they are behind compared to normal years. My colleague Jo Cooke spoke to one of Piedmont’s top vine growers, Roberto Voerzio, and he said it was 43 degrees up north. It’s really strange weather this spring. Maybe I should have stayed in Los Angeles longer?
Anyway, tomorrow they say that real spring is arriving. The weather never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think that it’s the pits, a bright, warm and sunny day comes along, and you forget about the past bad weather. I think the vines do the same. So don’t worry about 2006 in Italy so far.
I got home and went to my tasting room and reviewed a couple dozen reds. The tasting went well. They were mostly 2003 Barbarescos. As I have written in the past, you are going to find some very good to excellent Nebbiolos in 2003, despite early reports that the vintage was too hot to make top wines. You are just going to have to choose them right. Some wines are hollow and alcoholic. Others are super rich and structured. It’s a little like 2003 red Burgundy.
Stay tuned for the results of the tasting.
Robert Horvath — land O lakes, florida — May 11, 2006 11:31pm ET
James Suckling — — May 12, 2006 2:23am ET
Marc Schoeneberg — Germany — May 12, 2006 4:37am ET
Michael Culley — May 12, 2006 10:48am ET
David B Merrill — May 15, 2006 7:57pm ET
James Suckling — — May 16, 2006 10:17am ET
David B Merrill — May 16, 2006 11:11pm ET
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