Alan Manley har arbejdet (og arbejder stadig) de seneste ti år som Maria Teresas højre hånd på Bartolo Mascarello. Han begyndte at lave sin egen vin på “forsøgsbasis” i årgang 2012 og den første officielle årgang var 2015. Stilen er naturligvis inspireret af Mascarello med lang gæring, lagring på brugte fade, primært botti o.a.
2017: The second-hottest vintage after 2003, and an incredibly difficult growing season.
The spring started warm, with the buds already moving and swelling at the beginning of March. March saw continued good weather and the shoots grew quickly. Easter on April 16 was 28°C in Monforte. The Wednesday morning after Easter – April 19 – the temperatures dropped to -2C in the valley bottoms, bringing huge frost damage to less favored sites, especially those facing west toward the Tanaro and Po plains. Thus began a month of wet and cold – with a second freeze a week after the first – which replenished the water tables somewhat after the dry, mild winter. The weather finally cleared around the middle of May and from May 16 to September 1 there was not a drop of rain in Monforte (Barolo, La Morra and Castiglione had a brief rain shower in July). The harvest began about month early but the high-altitude site in Monforte performed far better in a hot year like this one.
Pernanno and Sotto-Rionda were harvested on September 24 and 25; Ginestra on October 12. This was the year that I learned that the Ginestra site, in order to reach its best potential, needs to be harvested 10-16 days later than the lower-altitude Pernanno and Sotto-Rionda sites. From 2017 onwards I have left Monforte to ripen on its own time and fermented it separately, adding it to the mix just after the fermentation for the long maceration.
After the ferments finished, the wine was left to macerate on the skins for a total of 25 days and then racked to a single 35hl Mittelberger botte, along with a single old, used barrique.
2017 was the first vintage to be completely vinified and aged at the new Margherita Otto cellar in Monforte d’Alba. The wine was bottled on August 28, 2020 and will be released in March 2021. Production: 24 double-magnums, 575 magnums and 3534 bottles.