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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…


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.

Brunello Riserva 2012 five stars

Brunello Riserva is an extraordinary wine because it can last for decades. At Casato Prime Donne it is produced only in the best harvests

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2012

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2012

The production of Brunello Riserva depends on the climate, the rainfall and the sun, mostly during August and September. It is possible to know right from the tasting of the grapes, this is when the picking dates are chosen. If in the vineyards there are Sangiovese grapes of extraordinary quality then it is possible to produce the Brunello Riserva.

That is the reason why it is made only in certain years and the quantity differs every time, even though it is always a small production. These productions are in fact always less than the requests by collectors and wine lovers from all over the world who wish to store these bottles in their cellars for important events.

The grapes nearly always come from a vineyard called Ardita on the highest point of Casato Prime Donne. This plot where the best clusters come from is delimited with red flags, the 5-7 hl French oak barrels where the Brunello Riserva ages for about three years are also flagged with red heart.  Small signs that help the grape growers and the cellar staff remember where the small masterpiece is born, this masterpiece that needs constant care and attention until bottling time.

Brunello Riserva is made for a lengthy ageing. This means that it must have a tannic and acidic structure able to preserve it in time. To balance these characteristics and make it pleasing even when young it is necessary that there be richness in fruit (polyphenols) that give aroma and balance the power. The Brunello Riserva 2012 has all these characteristics.

 

Type: dry red.

Production area: Tuscany, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne.

Vintage characteristics: Cold and dry winter with lots of snow. Very hot summer until September when the rain showers slowed the ripening of the grapes allowing the sugars to build up in the berries at the same rate as the growth of the extractable polyphenols.

Grape type: 100% Sangiovese (Brunello).

Grape harvest: from September 12-14th. Small clusters with regular ripening. Grapes seeds completely lignified. The harvest was manual, with a careful selection of the grapes, after two women on the sorting table discarded the defected berries.

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini- 2012-harvest

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini- 2012-harvest

Vinification: In stainless steel truncated cone shaped vats, each individually temperature controlled and open on top, so as to vinify without the use of pumps. The alcoholic fermentation went regularly with spontaneously low temperatures. It lasted 16 days and was then followed by 20 days of maceration.

Barrel ageing:  5 -7 hl small French oak tonneaux produced by 5 artisans who assure manual production. The type of oak, charring and dimension of the barrels has been specifically chosen based on the character of the wine. There has been no filtering before bottling.

Read more…


Brunello Prime Donne 2013, marvelous

Brunello Prime Donne 2013

Brunello Prime Donne 2013

Brunello Prime Donne 2013 is a masterpiece produced only in a limited number of bottles. Just 6,300 botles for those who love a traditional style

The  Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne 2013 will surprise you because of its aromas of small red fruits and spices, because it spreads in the mouth with a powerful and harmonious taste that lasts at length

A long lasting and pleasing wine that has beaten the initial forecasts, as in the past happened for the Brunello 1999.

In fact everyone had understood the “old style” of the 2013 harvest but only a few had foreseen its finesse, its quality and most of all its ability to last in time, revealed only after this Brunello was aged in barrel.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini considers the Brunello Prime Donne the flagship for her wineries, the first in Italy with an all female staff.

The idea for this wine was born in 1998 when Donatella noticed that the wine tasters for the Italian wine guides were all men. She decided then to reunite a group of great female wine experts asking them to taste, in a blind tasting, the future Brunello from different barrels, and to choose the one they liked the best. A way of stating that women’s’ tastes are important and that women tasters are just as clever as their male colleagues. Read more…

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