The most incredible harvest man can remember in 2012: the winter was dry because the massive snow falls in February left the soil dry . Warm spring very hot summer but more importantly 3 months without a drop of rain. Then a miracle occurred and the storms arrived at the beginning of September to hydrate the vines and permitted a ripening that was regular and complete. In the end the grapes were perfect for the production of great red wines. In 2012 there were other exceptions: the harvest was the scarcest in grapes that we can remember. At Fattoria del Colle we picked much less than half of what we usually pick, practically only the grapes for the best wines: Cenerentola DOC Orcia and Il Drago e le 8 Colombe.
Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is the only wine made by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, dedicated to men, and precisely to her husband Carlo Gardini – the dragon. Her two wineries are in fact a flagship for female winemaking because the staff are all women, and these are represented by the 8 doves in the name and on the label.
It is made with grapes from the vineyards, at 400 m above the sea level on the ridge that separates the Val d’Orcia from the Val di Chiana at 18 km from the Umbrian borderline. Three different grape varieties are used, vinified and aged in barrel separately, and then blended with the intent of obtaining a perfect equilibrium between the elegance of the Sangiovese, the roundness of the Merlot and the structure of the Sagrantino. This last variety comes from Umbria that is close by and at Fattoria del Colle has found a particularly favourable habitat.
Type: dry red.
Production area: Tuscany, Trequanda, Fattoria del Colle
Classification: IGT Toscana Rosso.
Vintage characteristics: cold and dry winter, from June three month with no rain and with very high temperatures. The rainstorms at the beginning of September allowed the gradual and complete ripening of the grapes. Few clusters that were small and loose.
Grape variety: Sangiovese (the same clone used for the Brunello) 60%, Merlot 20%, Sagrantino 20%.
Grape harvest: Manual harvest with a careful selection of the grapes in the fields and once in the cellar. At harvest the grapes were smaller than usual and the seeds were lignified and the skin particularly thin and hydro-soluble. Excellent conditions for the production of red wines apt for a long ageing.
Vinification: in temperature controlled stainless steel vats.
Ageing: 18 months in 5 an 7 hl French oak tonneaux.
Quantity produced: 6,600 bottles.
Colour: dark ruby red.
Aroma: fine full, complex with net perfumes of ripe small red fruits
Taste: satisfying and lush in balance. The evident tannic and acidic structure is well balanced with the ripe fruit which is expressed with an effect of fullness and roundness. Persistent, it leaves the mouth pleasantly sapid. The spicy note comes from the Sagrantino the softness from the Merlot and the elegance from the Sangiovese.
Matching dishes: Extremely versatile, well matched with Chinese, and Indian dishes as well as with the more traditions Tuscan roasts.
Way of serving: This is a wine for great occasions. Serve at room temperature (18-20°C) in clear crystal balloon shaped wine goblets.
Home ageing: apt for 25 years ageing and more. Keep the bottles lying down in a dark and cool place. Have the corks changed in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s winery around the year 2030.