July 2017 – Denavolo … Colli Piacentini !

Photo : View from Campo Rotonde, the highest plot between 500 and 600 meters above sea level

Denavolo, high on the Colli Piacentini

Tasting: Azienda Agricola Denavolo
July 17, 2017

In this report you will find:

  • Photos of the location of the vineyard
  • A note on the 2017 climate – dry with reasonable heat
  • Photos of the vineyard’s terroir
  • Tasting notes for wines available today
  • Tasting notes for Catavela 2016 – available from September 1, 2017


After Tuscany, Emilia!

Here we are, returning from an Italian escapade, after a few delightful days spent with Giulio Armani. He has settled on his own estate in 2005 in his native region a few kilometers from La Stoppa, on the heights of the first strongholds of the Apennines.

We are welcomed by the summer heat, but it is very pleasant and not stifling at all. Now in mid-July of this year, the berries are well formed, and everything seems in line to produce a beautiful vintage, but the winemaker remains cautious: “everything is played at this time” Giulio likes to repeat. If temperatures continue, the harvest will take place in early / mid September. Initial quantities are rather moderate, but are to be confirmed.

The grapes will be manually harvested with a team of about 20 people over 3 days.


A few notes on the 2017 vintage…

Since the winter, the region has seen very little rain; the climate is dry and the rivers at a very low level. The winter was cold but not rigorous, and without snow, which usually replenishes the water reserves.

At the end of winter, bud burst was in early Spring but slowed down due to cooler temperatures late in the season. The vines have been affected by a few frosts but to a much lesser extent than what has occurred in France. Since May, it has been warm and beautiful, and veraison has hardly begun at Denavolo.  Presence of horsetail in the vineyard – a good indicator of water presence – can be seen in the photo above.


Here are pictures of the plot “Campo Rotonde” where we see the grassed crop-covers in-between rows. This spontaneous vegetation cover is mowed twice a year: once just after pruning to mulch the trimmed vines into a vineyard compost, and then in the month of May. In this hot and dry climate, it then dries up and requires no further maintenance.

When walking among the vines, one’s eyes can be tricked into seeing the soil actually “sparkling”! This is due to the quartz stones and minerals littered within the soil and fused with the limestone (calcaire) rocks.

The soil is sandy and limestone, with very good draining, however the moisture is not too far away because there are pockets of shallow water. These small reserves are also responsible for landslides when the rains are high.

As Giulio says with a smile “these are traveling vines!”: The landslides bring down the rows of vines a few centimeters or meters. The virgin plot has been planted on chemical-free soil and the vineyard of Denavolo grows a little every year!

Giulio Armani


Vintages currently available –

Dinavolino 2015
An exceptional year because in 2015 Catavela was not produced, meaning this cuvée is a blend of Dinavolino 2015 from the old vines of the Débé plot and what could have been Catavela 2015 from young vines (Cassinera and Campo Rotonde). The wine has very delicate aromas of flower, citrus and cedar. The mouth is fresh with minty notes but also a nice salinity that is often found in the Catavela.

Dinavolo 2015
It was several years since Dinavolo had not been produced. 2015 lends itself perfectly to it, a vintage sun, a harvest of very fine quality with fine tannins.
Very perfumed notes of orange peel, cedar, wax. A very ripe wine, a complex mouth with well presented, supple tannins.

Wine coming soon –

Catavela 2016
Freshly bottled, Catavela 2016 needs a few weeks to be ready. It will be dispatched from the winery, beginning September 1, 2017.

The wine has a very lemony nose, with notes of jasmine, citronella, very fresh mouth. From an analytical point of view, the acidity is the same as the previous vintages but the feeling is different, which can be linked to the aromatics of citrus and lemon, especially with the volatile being a little higher on 2016.
A wine that promises to be open, very honest, without noticeable reduction and therefore one that will be appreciated young!

An extra touch by our gentleman winegrower, Giulio has created a wine for us that makes you want to travel with this Cata-vela, and its sail of boat! A sentiment expressed in the design of the new 2016 label!

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