According to Aldo Vacca of Produttori del Barbaresco, when the grapes were being picked late in the third week of October, growers were happy because they felt that they had saved the vintage from the effects of the heavy rains in the first part of the season. Later on, he says, they would come to realize that not only did they save the vintage but that 2014 was also a very “interesting” vintage, “exciting” and “one of a kind,” which Vacca cannot relate to any other vintage from the past.
Nadia Curto of Curto Marco in La Morra says that when September arrived, they had a sense of desperation as the grapes were not ready and the harvest was getting close. But, Curto smiles and goes on to note, “a miracle happened” and September and October maintained good weather, with warm days and cool nights allowing the grapes to ripen and maintain freshness. Curto indicates that they worked a lot in the vineyard and dropped fruit almost every day during August and September. In the end, there was less quantity, but today, when they drink 2014, they are happy as the wines possess good acidity, nuanced structure, fresh floral aromas, balsamic and mint notes, and they are “very, very elegant.”
The sentiment that the work done in the vineyard saved the vintage was echoed by all the producers. Vittore Alessandria of Fratelli Alessandria in Verduno insists that if 2014 had happened 30 years ago, the results likely would have been much more negative. But today, with improvements in viticulture, growers are better able to manage their vineyards. Alessandria also adds that the wines benefitted from Nebbiolo being a late-ripening grape since the weather was great from the beginning of September to the beginning of October while several early-ripening grape varieties had a much more difficult time. Alessandria describes the resulting wines as having verticality: good acidity, beautiful aromas, freshness and length.
Luca Currado of Vietti in Castiglione Falletto calls 2014 the most surprising of vintages. At the beginning of the harvest, he was not expecting such high quality as there was a significant amount of hail damage. Vietti was only able to bottle 55 percent of its production but Currado indicates that the vineyards not damaged by hail performed very well.