I'm back at home after a couple of weeks on the road. I was happy my two dogs, Archie and Annie, still remembered me. The cat, Monty, was meowing at my door at 6 a.m. for food. I guess my local restaurant wasn’t throwing him tidbits.
I spent the day catching up on e-mails and trying to finish a column, as well as tasting 30 reds and 10 whites from Piedmont. When I am in the office, I taste every morning at about 11 a.m. It’s always blind and well organized. I tasted a number of 2002 Barolos, and I have to wonder why some producers even bottled their wines. It was a washout for many. The best that I tasted today are for early drinking.
Summer already feels gone, and I am thinking of a busy autumn ahead. The weather here is hot. There’s a warm wind blowing through Tuscany. The afternoon temperatures were in the high 80s and the night in the low 70s. I spoke to a couple of Tuscan wine producers, and they sound very excited about the harvest. One was going to start picking his Merlots from young vines tomorrow. He said that the hot weather in the last week had made the vines drastically accelerate their growth and fruit maturation. “We have gained in a week what normally takes two or three weeks,” he said. “Thank God. The weather was not very good this August.”
In fact, some producers from Bordeaux were saying the same thing, although the weather has not been as good for them as in Tuscany. One said that vintners are hoping to make wines as good as 2004 this year, but they were not sure yet.
I am going to check with a few people tomorrow over the phone.
So the rest of the night here in Tuscany is going to be spent unpacking, paying bills, calling family and friends and catching up on lost sleep.