The story of 1997 really begins during the summer of 1996-1997. Heavy snowfalls through the region replenished the water table and set up the are for the season that was to follow. Spring arrived early but slowly with abundant sunshine, though with low temperatures and minimal rainfall. The vegetative cycle still got off to an early start and in many regions was severely impacted by a late spring frost. After this hiccup, the weather turned remarkably fine for the duration of the summer. Temperatures were warm and sunny with intermittent rainfall, yet the preceding winter’s snowfall ensured that the vines remained well supplied with all the water they needed. This small crop of remarkably healthy grapes enjoyed a fine harvest season and the resultant wines were packed with fruit, alcohol and ripe tannins. The acidity was a touch low but still strong enough to balance these rich, flamboyant wines. These really are benchmark wines, and while they may not be classic in one sense of the word, they do represent an extreme of what is capable with both Sangiovese and in Tuscany. The wines have held up well, though quite a few have lost their early appeal and are not developing the complexity and texture of more typical vintages.
Vintages in Tuscany
An easy to use vintage by vintage guide