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Bordeaux 2017 vintage, limited but good

The Bordeaux 2017 vintage reserves some surprises to the wineries: limited grapes, excellent ratings but maybe a decrease in prices

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Bordeaux 2017 vintage Chateau Margaux

Bordeaux 2017 vintage Chateau Margaux

For Bordeaux 2017 the  en-primeur sales, 9-12 April, show an avalanche of excellent ratings regarding the main Bordeaux chateaux. But after a serious decrease in production because of the frost last year, the 2017 harvest is requested at lower prices by the great  négociants who buy wines from the harvest from wineries to put them on the market in 3 or more years time.

I have just been to Bordeaux and I have seen the vineyards just pruned. The vines that were damaged by the frost were well evident and I am sure that they will produce scarce grapes in 2018 too. A situation that worries greatly the wineries where the cellars contain less barriques than usual.

At Millésima, where I went to present my wines that have just been inserted in their portfolio, I met the CEO Fabrice Bernard. He is one of the BIG buyers at the  en-primeur auctions because Millésima is famous worldwide for having in its catalogue bottles from the greatest Bordeaux chateaux, that have been held in only two cellars:

Millésima-Bordeaux-prestigious wine store

Millésima-Bordeaux-prestigious wine store

the one of origin and his. Bernard’s words have a certain value in the market and he declared to Wine Searcher “I’m expecting prices to come down by 20 to 25 percent” .

The decrease in price reflects the French system of handling the petite vendange – the less perfect vintages. They decrease the price while we, in Brunello, decrease the quantity. In Tuscany we increase the production of  Rosso di Montalcino and leave only the best to the flagship wine. The result is a greater fluctuation in volumes of Brunello but a better consistency in the price and maybe even in the quality. Read more…

Cenerentola Doc Orcia, a wine with a crown

2016  old style harvest that excites wines lovers and puts a crown on the Cenerentola DOC Orcia label

A vintage this 2016 to be framed: depth, complexity, and finesse, and  longevity, characteristics that only a slow ripening of the grapes can give to a wine.

The Sangiovese, main variety used in Cenerentola DOC Orcia (together with Foglia Tonda), produces grapes that are meteoropathic, so can go mad and ruin if the climate is adverse. Its skin is made up of few layers of cells so it needs the help of the sun to express itself at its best. For this reason in the high hills of Southern Toscana, where the climate is dry but cool, Sangiovese has its ideal habitat and reached levels of excellence impossible elsewhere in the world.

Foglia-tonda-donatella-cinelli-colombini-225x300

There were surprises regarding the harvest date too: the vines had sprouted a good 15 days earlier than usual, and everyone, including us, thought that the harvest would have been precocious one. On the contrary already when the veraison happened (changing of the colour of the grapes from green to blue) the calendar of the vegetation cycle was already aligned with the traditional one, then the ripening proceeded regularly and slowly. In 2016 for the first time in a long time, the clusters reached the time of harvest at  a snail’s pace with a mass of sugar in the berries growing slower than the poliphenolic ripening, that of the noble substances in the skins. In 2016 the first semester of the year was very rainy, the soil was hydrated in depth creating reserves for the hot months, but also disturbing the flowering to such a point that the number and dimensions of the clusters  was drastically reduced. Then a topsy-turvy summer arrived. With hot days –over 35°c- alternated by storms of great violence, and the wine producers have been really scared that the hail would arrive. Those who like us were saved from the calamity, have had one of the best harvest man can remember. Read more…

My red lion (Leone Rosso) that has been roaring for 400 years

Leone Rosso Doc Orcia a wine that gives pleasure and tells the story of Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s heretic ancestors who built Fattoria del Colle

Leone-Rosso-2015-Fattoria-del-Colle

Leone-Rosso-2015-Fattoria-del-Colle

The rampant lion is engraved at the entrances at Fattoria del Colle , on the ceilings, and on the majolica blazons it is an evident presence and symbol of the long history of this place. It is the emblem of the Socini, or Soccini family, Donatella ancestors who built Fattoria del Colle in 1592. The Socini was a Sienese family of jurists and thinkers, that were rich and prestigious until, Lelio (1525-1562) and Fausto (1539-1604) Socino became important characters in the protestant reform and most of all very much opponents of the dogma of trinity. Still today their names are written in every book on philosophy, but by the church they were considered heretics and so they were forced to escape abroad and brought their family to ruin. In 1919 Donatella’s great-grandfather Livio Socini bought Fattoria del Colle back, quite by chance. Donatella got the estate fro her dad Fausto Cinelli in 1998 and has dedicated to the Socini family the wine she has produced there, “Leone Rosso DOC Orcia.

THE  DOC ORCIA WINE REGION

Fattoria-del-Colle-villa-ceiling

Fattoria-del-Colle-villa-ceiling

The appellation ORCIA was born in the year 2000 in Southern Tuscany, in a vast hilly region that reaches as far as the Crete Senesi going towards Monte Amiata. An area that includes 12 villages, where once the spring frosts damaged the vines one year out of three, and consequently discouraging wine production. Since the beginning of climate changes these frosts have practically disappeared, the last one was in 1997, while the cool climate with practically cold summer nights helps the production of high quality grapes because the ripening is generally slow and regular while the acidic content of the grapes and of the wines is a particular characteristic of the DOC Orcia appellation and a guarantee of longevity.   Read more…

Cenerentola’s gown of light

A wine story that resembles a fairy tale: Doc Orcia Cenerentola wears a gown of light, goes to the ball and becomes a princess. At Vinitaly (HALL 6 STAND D4)

Cenerentola-DOC-Orcia

Cenerentola-DOC-Orcia

Vinitaly 2018 sees the launching of a special edition of 50 pieces, Magnums “dressed” with a spectacular lamp in Tuscan style. 

CENERENTOLA’S STORY BECOMES A WINE

Once upon a time there was a nice young girl called Cenerentola (Cinderella). The prince invites her sisters to the party, but she stays at home until a fairy visits her bringing her a wonderful gown….Once upon a time there was a wine appellation called DOC Orcia. She had two sisters, older and more famous than her, Brunello and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano that are on the left and the right. She too would like to go to balls, where her sisters’ bottles go, and so the fairy, represented by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, dresses our DOC Orcia Cenerentola with a gown made of light and sends her to the party. This really does seem like a fairy tale with a happy ending. The special edition of 50 pieces, Magnums dressed with a spectacular lamp in Tuscan style will be protagonist at Vinitaly 2018 at Hall 6 Stand D4 under Donatella Cinelli Colombini

THE TRUE STORY OF CENERENTOLA DOC ORCIA

Lamp-Cenerentola

Lamp-Cenerentola

The young and feisty Doc Orcia was born on February 14th 2000. In the area of Trequanda (SI) where the Fattoria del Colle was  built in 1592 by the ancestors of Donatella Cinelli Colombini, the present owner.

Donatella believes in this appellation, so much so that she is the president of this Consortium. She also believes in autochthonous varieties with the features of their old identity that give a unique stamp to wines from a specific territory. This is why she recovered the old Sienese variety Foglia Tonda with its distinctive features, abandoned  for almost a century, and experimented on the best ways of cultivating it, containing  its natural tendency to produce too many clusters.  A long study, with a few setbacks and many trials with the help of Professor Cesare Intrieri of the University of Bologna and with the fervent support of Valérie Lavigne at of the University of Bordeaux. Read more…

Rosso di Montalcino 2016  with exceptional finesse and complexity

In 2016 the long vegetative cycle and an extremely slow ripening gave us a Rosso di Montalcino that opens up in the mouth with a velvety, and young fullness.

Rosso-di-Montalcino-2016-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

Rosso-di-Montalcino-2016-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

The success obtained by the last vintages of Rosso di Montalcino by Donatella Cinelli Colombini has surpassed all of our expectations. Other than being very well accepted by the market, there have been some excellent ratings from Wine Spectator (91/100) and Decanter (17,5/20) and the Gold medal from the Merano Wine Festival.

The 2016 vintage intends outdoing these fantastic results thanks to its characteristics of finesse and complexity. It is a young wine, but important and very elegant, with silky tannins that are able to hide the wine’s powerfulness. It is perfectly matched with tasty fist courses, meats and most of all aged cheeses.

During the 2016 harvest the clusters arriving were small, with small and perfect berries.Cesta rossa Vendemmia 2016 Montalcino For the first time after many years, in 2016 the grape ripening was so slow, thanks to the cool nights and the sunny days during the month of September. In fact the grape skin ripening (poliphenolic) was ready before the pulp ripening (regarding acids and alcohol) and this has permitted the production of wines with a moderate alcohol content but with an extraordinary richness in colour and taste. The diurnal temperature variation in September is also responsible for the particular aroma of this wine..

TYPE: dry red.

Tinaia Casato Prime DonnePRODUCTION AREA: Toscana, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne.

VINTAGE CHARACTERISTICS: Mild and very rainy winter. The buds arrived soon. In Spring the rain disturbed the flowering and so reduced the dimension and the number of clusters. The summer was hot but interrupted by rains storms. September had cool nights and sunny days which favoured a regular ripening.

GRAPE TYPE : 100% Sangiovese .

GRAPE HARVEST:  The grapes were handpicked and chosen in the vineyard . In less than half an hour the clusters reached the cellar where they were de-stemmed and underwent a second selection on sorting tables.

VINIFICATION: in truncated cone shaped bare cement vats that are open on top, with a Rosso 16 wine stopplunger and temperature controlled to the finesse of the wine. The years used in fermentation are indigenous chosen in Casato Prime Donne by Enobiotech.

BARREL AGEING: 6-12 months in French 5-7 hectolitre tonneaux.

QUANTITY PRODUCED: 35,000 bottles.

COLOUR: intense and brilliant ruby red.

AROMA:  ripe red berries with hints of spices coming from the oak used for ageing.

TASTE: fine, harmonious, satisfying,  with tannins well balanced with the richness in fruit. Pleasantly long lasting

MATCHING DISHES: very versatile, well matched with  food rich in taste that is not fatty, such as tasty first courses, meat, cold cuts and cheeses.

WAY OF SERVING: serve at room temperature (16-18°C), use wide tulip shaped crystal wine goblets.

HOME STORAGE: al of the Montalcino wines are long lasting but the Rosso di Montalcino is destined to be consumed young.  Keep the bottles lying down in a cool (16°C) and dark place and drink within 4 years from the harvest.

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