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Tag Archives: Decanter

Medals in competitions, too many and some for counterfeit wines

English wine competition reward up to 70% of wines with medals while the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles carries out tests to catch those who falsify bottles

The Italian jurt at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles

The Italian jurt at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne


A very interesting article by Wine News underlines the excessive number of medals of the English wine contests. According to OIV there should be less than 33% whereas the various contests by  “Decanter” awarded medals to 70% of the participants   and <<“The Drinks Business”, regardless of a jury made up practically of only Masters of Wine, actually awarded in one go medals to 90% of the Champagnes>> state ironically Wine News. A situation that could be connected to the price to be paid for every one of the 16.000 bottles in the first of the competitions mentioned and that was put into evidence by “La Revue du Vin de France”.

Medals from the International wine competitions -International-wine-challenge

Medals from the International wine competitions -International-wine-challenge

The  “Vinalies Internationales” seem to be much more rigorous, they give medals to 29,8% of the 3.500 competitors and the  Concours mondial de Bruxelles gives recognition to  28,2% out of  8.000.

Although the advantages go quite rightly to the sole winners of these competitions every medal, if well used, with commercial actions and with vip clients, can give an increase in wine price between  10-15% and an increase in winery reputation. Read more…

The Brunello sky with Sandra Savaglio’s stars

  • Published in Forum

The Casato Prime Donne award 2014 is full of stars: Sandra Savaglio, Daniele Cernilli, Ian D’Agata, Anna Di Martino and Andrea Rontini




September 14th in Montalcino Casato Prime Donne award in a star filled edition: the stars belonging to the astrophysicist Sandra Savaglio, the moon photographed by Andrea Rontini and the three stars from wine journalism Anna Di Martino, Daniele Cernilli, Ian D’Agata and then “Vita” the grape-picker who is looking at the sun by Piero Sbarluzzi.
This award for the past sixteen years has transformed Montalcino into a stage for great women, those who change the feminine profile, it proposes this year a positive example for the world of research: Sandra Savaglio the astrophysicist who has decided to return to Italy to the Università della Calabria in Cosenza after 23 years of working abroad with the best foreign telescopes and after having become the icon of the participants of the brain drain. In fact in 2004 the weekly “Time” magazine put her on the front page with the title “How Europe lost its science stars”. Read more…

How to serve wines at the table- wine bon ton

Small secrets to use at home to serve wine in an elegant way: the choice, the order and most of all the way of serving


wine being served

wine being served

Seen for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The first problem is obviously the choice of wines. Real wine lovers decide first on the bottles and after on the food to be matched but in most cases the menu is chosen first and after the accompanying wines.
As for food with wine too the main rule of table etiquette is that there must be a crescendo of intensity. Obviously lighter white wines to begin with followed by the more robust and powerful ones or young reds. Sometimes it can happen that a young red is served before a great white, it is not a mistake but the underlining of the intensity on the nose of what is in the glass.
For red wines the order is based on age with small exceptions connected to the structure of the wines. Sometimes in fact the deepness and the length of a great Barolo or a great Brunello force a change in the usual rule , so these get served after older wines that are though less intense. The temperatures go from 8°C for sparkling wine, to 10°C for white and rosé, to reach 18°C for young red wines and 20°C for aged reds. To this general rule are the exceptions of desert wines, which are served at the end of the meal and sometimes are served cooler so as to not overdo the sweetness. Read more…

90/100 to Brunello Prime Donne by Tanzer alias Ian D’Agata

His name is Stephen Tanzer but in Italy we read it Ian d’Agata, he is the autochthonous variety paladin who tastes wine for International Wine Cellar

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Ian d'Agata

the wine critic Ian D'Agata

90/100 is the rating given to Brunello Prime Donne 2008 by a magazine known for its strict judgments, is consequently a fantastic result. Tanzer, since 1985, is the direct rival of Wine Advocate who combats their fiery prose with a most composed stile, with however the same type of rigour. Among the major wine critics, Tanzer is the one who is closest to the consumer; this has been demonstrated by the comparison of judgements on Cellar tracker, the web site where every wine lover can express their opinion.
In Italy Tanzer has a young and very expert collaborator: Ian d’Agata the autochthonous variety paladin, who is at this moment writing a monumental work of art on them. But that is not all, Ian writes for the major British wine magazine “Decanter” and, believe it or not, for “Figaro” . He also teaches. But not in the university of the remotest place in the world, but in the New York University. In other words there is no prestige missing here. Regarding Montalcino he is one of those who is all for the division of the Brunelloterritory

Brunello Prime Donne, Sara shows the rating

Brunello Prime Donne 2008

in zones, so as to put emphasis on the diversity of the product. It is not a rating, says Ian d’Agata because Pauillac and Margaux are different but both produce excellent wines.

It is he who describes the Brunello 2008 Prime Donne with these words <<Good bright full red. More scented and high toned than the basic 2008 release, offering dark red cherry, mint and floral elements; a note of chocolate-covered dry raspberry emerged with air. Fine-grained and floral, with a light touch and attractive inner-mouth perfume to its red cherry flavour .Finishes with substantial dusty tannins. This is likely to age well>>

2012 a sunny balance at the end of the year for Donatella Cinelli Colombini

  • Published in Forum

2012 a very tiring year where a lot of work has been done. Great awards, successes, small commercial progress and great difficulties tied to the International crisis.

Vinitaly 2012 - Donatella Cinelli Colombini - Premio Internazionale Vinitaly

Vinitaly 2012 - Donatella Cinelli Colombini - Premio Internazionale Vinitaly

The best image of the past year is of the Premio internazionale Vinitaly received directly from the President Mr. Riello and the General Manager of Veronafiere Giovanni Mantovani. Such an important award which I shared with Debra Meiburg the Master of Wine who rates 7th in the list of most powerful women in wine in the world.

A good portrait of the increase in quality of the wines from this cellar is given by the image of 5 wines with ratings over 90/100 in Wine Spectator: Il Drago e le 8 Colombe, Cenerentola, Brunello, Brunello Prime Donne and Riserva, the latter with 95/100 is in the Olympus of the 18 Italian “Top Wines” chosen by Wine Spectator. The Brunello Prime Donne is among those Highly Recommended by “Decanter” and among the three preferred by the Master of Wine Rosemary George. Read more…

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