Vineyard sites were in Monforte d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba for the first three vintages (2015-2017). A partial parcel in the Vignane MGA of Barolo was added for the 2018 vintage; the whole parcel is under rental since 2019. A second parcel in Barolo township was added for 2020. The sites in the communes of Monforte, Castiglione and Barolo are estate-farmed, the Serralunga site provides purchased fruit from a grower family who are good friends.
Monforte, in Localita Ginestra
Castiglione Falletto, in the Pernanno MGA
Barolo, in the Vignane and Coste di Rose MGAs
Serralunga, at the edge of the Vingarionda MGA
2015: A year of contrasts between heat and cool.
The growing season started wet as the final months of rain that had begun in November of 2013 wound down (2014 was the wettest year on record in the Barolo area). It finally stopped raining in mid-March 2015 and the weather improved markedly in April. Flowering was under normal conditions in May. The last week of June heat arrived in force and continued unabated until August 14, when three days of thundershowers cooled the area considerably. During the seven weeks of heat, during which temperatures regularly climbed above 38C and went as high as 42C, the plants were able to benefit from the water reserves accumulated during the months of rain. Even during the hottest part of August, the soil retained sufficient moisture so that the plants never suffered from drought stress.
The second half of August into October were completely normal from a climatic standpoint, with warm, sunny days and briskly cool nights. The key to taking advantage of this excellent late-seasons weather was canopy and yield management during the hot weeks of July and August. Those who trimmed the tops of the vines and those who were aggressive in their green harvests saw very rapid sugar accumulation after the invaiatura (veraison). Some growers were picking Nebbiolo as early as September 12.
Harvest dates for Margherita Otto in 2015 were between October 1 and 10. Vinification and initial wood aging was at a cantina where I was able to rent tank and cask space. As grapes arrived, they were added to the fermenting mass (on native yeasts only, no selected) in a continuous ferment, i.e., the 3 vineyards were co-fermented. The wine was dry about 9 days after the last addition of fruit and was macerated for additional time with cappello sommerso. Total skin contact was about 45 days. Press wine was immediately mixed in with the free-run wine.
The wine was racked off the skins into a single Slavonian oak Garbellotto botte (cask) of 25hl and leftovers were put in glass damijane. A first rack off the rough lees was performed after a week. Malo began immediately and was complete after 18 days. A second racking was performed about a week after the malo was complete. The wine was racked again after a year.
After almost 2 years in botte at the rented cellar, the wine was transferred to the newly completed Azienda Agricola Margherita Otto cellar in Monforte d’Alba in August 2017 and spent an additional year in a single French oak Mittelberger botte of 25hl and a single old barrique. The wine was assembled in a single steel tank a week before bottling.
Bottling was 28 February 2019. A total of 2608 bottles, 490 magnums and 12 double-magnums were produced. The wine was released in late May 2019. Fra producents hjemmeside