2012 Harvest Snapshots

A look at the 2012 harvests from regions across Europe


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2012 Tuscany

It was a very warm summer in Tuscany, on par with the scorcher that was 2003, but the wines may not much resemble those benchmarks in ripeness. Two significant differences distinguish 2012 from 2003. The first is water reserves, which were significant in 2003 and significantly lacking in 2012 after a dry winter and a rain free summer.

The lack of water has slowed the vigor of many vines and will result in a shorter crop. Whether the fruit harvested will exhibit the roasted qualities of 2003 or not is left to be seen. They do have one factor working in their favor, the heat of 2012 was daytime heat, with cooler nights allowing the vines to recover from the stresses of the days. This was an advantage missing from much of 2003's summer.

Rain in September has refreshed the vines in many cases, but it is doubtful than anything can be done to fundamentally change the character of the vintage. The early line is that the wines will be far better structured than the 2003 wines but will share the traits of high alcohol and dark roasted flavors with that vintage.

Tuscany image via Shutterstock

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