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Rosso di Montalcino 2017 by Donatella

A powerful Sangiovese , extremely pleasant , that in the  Rosso di Montalcino expresses at its best the characters of a hot years such as 2017 and the extraordinary Brunello terroir

 

2017 in the vineyards is explained in the words of the Divina Commedia by Dante << guarda il calor del sol che si fa vino>> (Canto 25 of Purgatory). Poetic words that describe a very hot summer where the vines suffered for the draught for month and the grape growers tilled the land to impede that the soil hardened.

A vintage, 2017, that expresses itself at its best in young wines, such as the Rosso di Montalcino, and has among its strong points the Mediterranean vigour and pleasantness. It is in other words a raring, hot, powerful and velvety Sangiovese.

MONTALCINO, TERROIR WHERE SANGIOVESE EXPRESSES ITSELF BEST

Montalcino is, in the world, the territory where Sangiovese expresses itself at its best. An extraordinary territory that makes something extremely difficult happen, in fact it makes it even seem easy: to produce with the same grapes and from the same vines, young wines that are extremely pleasant and elegant, like Rosso di Montalcino, and super premium wines apt for long ageing such as Brunello.

Rosso -di- Montalcino- 2017- Sangiovese -harvest

VINTAGE 2017 IN MONTALCINO AND IN EUROPE

In Europe, the 2017 vintage will be remembered as the scarcest and most troublesome of the last 50 years because of a frost at the end of April, and because of a dry and torrid summer, and finally because of the hailstorm in September. A wild climatic situation that miraculously missed Montalcino where the only difference with other vintages was the beginning of the harvest within the first 15 days of September.

Cantine aperte remembering Leonardo da Vinci

Cantine Aperte 2019, Wine day at Casato Prime Donne proposes a candlelit itinerary with music, food from the times of Leonardo and great Brunello and Chianti wines

 

Cantine- Aperte- 2019 Casato- Prime- Donne

In the Casato Prime Donne winery lit with chandeliers, listening to music from the late 15th century with a glass of Brunello in hand and some food from renaissance times. Donatella Cinelli Colombini wishes to dedicate Cantine Aperte 2019, in her winery in Montalcino to the Tuscan genius Leonardo da Vinci this year, 500 years since his death.

Leonardo had a vineyard in Milan not far from Santa Maria delle Grazie where he painted the Cenacle. In 1515 he wrote the rules for the correct way to produce wine and gave wine practically a spiritual role  “Il vino, il divino licore dell’uva” . To Leonardo have been attributed the idea of the decanter and of the air lock to stop wine and air meeting in the barrels.

 

CANTINE APERTE PROGRAMME

<<This itinerary is through the cellar, candlelit, and with tastings of great wines, music, and simple food that recall Renaissance times and will be fun even though it is based on solid cultural basis >> says Violante Gardini,  Cinellicolombini Jr who guides the Movimento del turismo del vino della Toscana and organizes the day dedicated to wine tourism in the whole region.

Cantine-aperte-2019-Casato-Prime Donne -Montalcino

Guided tastings at 11 am, 1pm, 3pm and 5 pm must be booked previously at the following number 0577 849421 (18€ per person for the 4 guided tastings at fixed times and then some informal tours with quick tastings from 11 am to 6 pm).

At the Entrance guests receive a glass and a candle with the request to turn down the volume of their phones so as to enjoy fully the audio, visual and flavour sensations that recall the Renaissance. First stop in the fermentation area in the medieval atmosphere with the screening of images – Chianti Superiore will be served with home baked bread dressed with 2018 extra virgin olive oil.

Rosa di Tetto IGT 2018 BIO

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents her Rosa di tetto 2018 IGT Toscana 2018 for the first time BIO, organic, and for the first time in a “fine wine” version

first harvest with organic certification for Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s wineries and first “Rosa di Tetto” rosé BIO. Our vineyards have always been cultivated with manual care but since 2014 we have begun to follow the protocols and we have begun to  be checked on by an external entity that allowed us to obtain the certification and consequently the green leaf, symbol of an organic winery, on the label.

STORY OF A NAME AND OF A FARM WINE

At Fattoria del Colle the production of rosé began more than 30 years ago with the name “Aqua di Tetto”. When Donatella Cinelli Colombini received from her father the farm she decided to change the name because the previous one led to imagine a red wine that had been watered down.

2018-sangiovese-harvest-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana

She chose Rosa di Tetto because it recalls the first name buy is also inspired by the climbing roses that grow on the facade of the 16th century villa so high that they get under the roof tiles.

ROSA DI TETTO-FAMILY WINE

The rosé Rosa di Tetto is produced in limited series of 2,500 bottles obtained through Sangiovese grapes from the vineyards at Fattoria del Colle that were picked and vinified on the estate. So this is a “family wine” or as we would say in Tuscany , “Vino di Fattoria”.

Luxury wines: more and more success stories

Shopping for more than 253 billion euro per year for wines that cost more than 100 euro and for 12 billion for dream bottles with prices above 1000 euro

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

luxury-wines-Screaming-eagle-cabernet-sauvignon

During the past few years the high end wine market has increased. It has gone from 77 billion euro in 1995 to 253 billion euro in 2015 (study by Bain & Company in 2016). At the same time, the index of WS auctions showed an increase of 300% in value.

This sort of increase is worthy of the best bonds on stock exchanges and an evident preference of the richer consumers for finer wines.

Luxury Wine Marketing by Liz Thach and Peter Yeung

<<The luxury wine category contains all that is rare and with beautiful aesthetics >> explained Liz Thach, Master of Wine and professor at the Wine Business Institute di Sonoma, to Wine Searcher <<it supplies a sense of privilege and elegance>> in other words those who can buy exclusive  and expensive bottles feels privileged and this is something that become quite irresistible.

Luxury-wines-La Tache – Romanée Conti

The book Luxury Wine Marketing by Liz Thach and Peter Yeung studies in fact the desirability of a luxury wine and the elements that make it stand out. In fact, while the market proposes a growing number of extremely expensive bottles, the estate information is quite scarce.   This report starts from a database of 8500 wines with a price over $ 100 per bottle, divided per grape variety, region, type and price, and considering the vintages from 2010 to 2016. The main sources used by the authors were Wine Spectator (WS), Wine-Searcher, The Encyclopaedia of Champagne and interviews.

Alcohol, why women must drink less than men

Gender, age, diet, all these affect the quantity of wine one can drink but there is a rigid rule for all: drink small amounts and often to stay healthy

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

 

Alcohol-the-after-effect-for women-and-men

Sometimes in the wine world you meet some very unexpected interesting and surprising people, more than one would imagine. This has happened to me this year during the Preview Tuscan tastings when I met the journalist Michael Apstein . He asked me to arrange a visit to the DOC Orcia wineries so that he could write an article for the British wine magazine “Decanter”, only two days beforehand. My husband and I went to pick him up in San Gimignano and in the car I pointed out <you don’t have a British accent> <no> he says <I am from Boston I am a doctor, I thought gastroenterology>. Well, I thought, Boston is where Harvard is and it’s the city of the Nobel prizes , this must be some guy! And in fact when he sent me his article about alcohol consumption I finally understood why doctors say “it depends” when asked what the advised amount is.

The whole article can be found here :https://bit.ly/2SQKqGd

At last, even though of scientific content, it is written so as to be understood by all of us.

 

MEN, WOMEN, AND ALCOHOL

Women-and-wine-Violante -in -a wine-tasting

A 80kg male who drinks wine regularly and has just consumed two glasses of wine during a proper meal eaten leisurely over two hours will have a BAC level that is dramatically lower than that of a 60kg woman who drinks only occasionally and has polished off those two glasses quickly without eating.

Scientists have not understood yet why but women break down less alcohol in the stomach, which means that more passes into the small intestine where it is absorbed. The end result is that a woman, despite drinking an equal quantity of alcohol at the same rate as a man, will have a higher BAC

2016 vintage of Il Drago e le 8 Colombe Super Tuscan

2016, another 5 star vintage, and finally one that is perfect for wines apt for long ageing. Il Drago e le 8 Colombe an auteur bottle for great wine lovers

Il-Drago-e-le-8-Colombe 2016

In 2016 the vegetative cycle of the vines was very very long: the vines budded 15 days sooner than usual, but the harvest took place in October, as was usual traditionally. This was because the ripening of the grapes was gradual and slow: something rare during this era of climatic changes that gave great joy to the producers. In fact the ripening of the grape skin (poliphenolic) and that of the pulp (technological) went hand in hand and this circumstance always produces extremely elegant wines.

THE NAME IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE

This wine was born to celebrate the only man in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s wineries, my husband Carlo Gardini. These wineries are the first in Italy to be all female staffed. But Carlo is however always present with his advice and his passion for great red wines, that sometimes, are completely different to those that I love.

THE STORY OF IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE

“Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” was originally “Il Drago e le 7 Colombe” and was renamed with the arrival of our consultant wine maker Valérie Lavigne. On that occasion the blend too was changed, today it is a 60% Sangiovese 20% Merlot and 20% Sagrantino. Three varieties that give different characteristic to the wine: the Sangiovese gives elegance, the Merlot pleasantness, and the Sagrantino increases the structure. All the grapes have been grown on the state, following the organic regime, and are picked, vinified and aged in barrel separately to be assembled before bottling.

This is a small production between 8,000-16,000 bottles per year, a masterpiece. Often this type of wine is called Super Tuscan because although it doesn’t belong to any appellation is aims at high quality, even though with freedom with respect to the rules that are enforced by the DOC appellations. For this reason Donatella Cinelli Colombini has inserted among the varieties for the Il Drago e Le 8 Colombe the Sagrantino, typical variety used in Umbria, its administrative boundary lines, end just about 10 km from the Fattoria del Colle vineyards.

Sanchimento IGT Toscana 2018 BIO

Bianco Sanchimento 2018 from Fattoria del Colle, for the first time BIO (organic). Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents the first products of her environment- friendly choice.

The white wine “Sanchimento” and the rosé “Rosa di Tetto” are the first wines with organic certification produced at Fattoria del Colle. This wine is obtained from grapes from a small vineyard around the chapel of the estate. Its name comes in fact from the patron saint of the small church, Pope Clement I martyr in 97 AD. in Sebastopol. San Chimento is in fact the medieval name given to the same Saint and still today used by the local population.

SANCHIMENTO, A FARM WINE, WITH ITS OWN CHAPEL

 

The small Sanchimento vineyard was planted in 1989 with Traminer grapes on the north side of the hill that goes up behind the chapel at Fattoria del Colle 404 m above sea level. The soil is deep with mostly clay and quaternion deposits.

Sanchimento IGT Toscana 2018

So Sanchimento is a “family wine” obtained through grapes grown on the farm, picked by hand, vinified in a state-of-the-art manner and bottled in a limited production of 2,000 bottles.

The 2018 vintage is particular for its extraordinary aromatic richness thanks to a cool summer and a sunny autumn, but with great diurnal temperature variations.

Who are the Brunello lovers?

Why do French wines have higher prices and a higher prestige than ours? How wide is the range? Who are the Brunello lovers in Italy and in the USA?

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Benvenuto-Brunello-2019–Nomisma-survey -on-Brunello-lovers

During  Benvenuto  Brunello, Luciano Ferraro the journalist, presented a survey by Nomisma-WineMonitor regarding prices, markets, and sentiments with respect to French and Italian wines. They used as a comparison method bottles of red wine. To understand the motive for the gap is difficult because the range between the prices is big, and seems to get even bigger, even though in the opinion of the specialized press, and of the best wine critics in the world, it is the other way round.

COST OF RED WINES IN ITALY AND FRANCE

As I said the Nomisma-WineMonitor study concentrates on bottled red wines, those for which Tuscany is famous all over the world. Let’s start from something already known: at a national level 40% of our expert, equal to 2,5 billion Euros, regards bottles of red and of this number more than half is made up of DOP wines. The problem is that their journey towards success gets slower and slower.

In the last 5 years the increase in exporting of Italian bottled red wine has grown in value by 7% while that of the French counterparts jumped up by 56%. In China they export wine for 686 million Euro and us only 61. If we then look at Hong Kong it’s time to cry: they export 371 million and us 16.

Prices

Benvenuto-Brunello-2019–Nomisma-survey -on-Brunello-lovers

Looking at average prices for export of bottled red wines the situation is less dramatic: France 6,09 € per litre, Italy  4,64€. But it is at the high end that this range widens: Burgundy 25,54€ Bordeaux 12,05€ Tuscany 6,89€. It seems that Piedmont is better off with an average price per litre of  9,12€.

This situation is not good for the Tuscan reds, and looking at exports from 2015 to 2017 business has decreased from 552 billion of euro to 427. Veneto and Piedmont have slowed down but they have bubbles like Prosecco and those from the Langhe, while in Tuscany we are not strong on sparkling so we have had a bigger drawback.

Fortunately Switzerland buys the most expensive wines, with respect to any other market and has in fact an average price for importation of 12€ per litre which is very low compared to what it pays for Bordeaux  (29,49€) and Burgundies (54,5€) but it is however much more than in the UK where our bottles arrive at 4,5€.

Sassicaia’s unstoppable success

After the 1st position in the TOP 100 by Wine Spectator then the  100 /100 from Robert Parker. The San Guido star shines brighter and brighter

 

Sassicaia

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

As well as clever they are very kind, they are humble, they speak and act with extreme simplicity and reserved, as true aristocrats are.

It is in fact the very  austerity, elegant in many ways, but where there is no trace of ostentation, that makes the competitors mad, <<how can they have all that success without doing anything at all>>is the surprised comment from all the rest.  Hence, a little bit of jealousy , and the word nothing that includes many things: no “shoving” to get to the limelight, no pharaonic events, no self celebrating books, and above all no media overexposure of the bottles or the people …. The only great thing , it seems like, is  the increase in value of the bottles and this has been emphasized by Liv-ex the luxury wine portal. A growth, in recent years, that has beaten some of the great French chateaux.

 

Sassicaia-Priscilla-Incisa-della-Rocchetta-Académie-internationale-du-vin

TENUTA SAN GUIDO IN BOLGHERI

Sassicaia is born in a winery called Tenuta San Guido and it is a legendary place for many reasons. There is the row of cypresses told of by Nobel Prize winner for literature Giosuè Carducci “ che a Bólgheri alti e schietti van da San Guido in duplice filar, quasi in corsa giganti giovinetti”.

Here one finds the stables Razza Dormello Olgiata, where the super horse Ribot, one of the most prestigious champions of all times.

Also here is the first nature oasis in Italy, created by Mario Incisa della Rocchetta who was also the first president of the WWF.

In this sequence of excellencies one also finds the first wine able to beat French bottles challenging them with their king of varieties Cabernet Sauvignon. It was in 1978, in London, that the wine critic Hugh Johnson, at that time without rivals for fame and authoritativeness. He organizes for the first time for the Decanter magazine a blind tasting of the best 33 Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. And surprisingly the Sassicaia 1975 won.

The Wine Advocate in Zurich with 600 wines

Zurich is a city of bankers, of luxury that is not on show, the European city where wines costs the most and where I have just been as one of the 255 wineries chosen by Wine Advocate.

 

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Monica-Larner-and-Donatella-Cinelli -Colombini-wine-tasting-WineAdvocate-RobertParker-2019-in-Zurich

In the Wine Advocate -Robert Parker wine tasting the Italian team was the largest, with 53 wineries all along the external perimeter of the hall. For many wineries the owners were present personally. From Montalcino there were 12 of us, 20% of Italian wineries, a very high number that indicates the consideration of Brunello by the most important wine magazine in the world.

Matter of Taste – fine wine experience

The Matter of Taste – fine wine experience reunites 600 excellent wines from all over the world chosen among those that have obtained 90/100 or more from Robert Parker-Wine Advocate. In the tastings you are really spoilt for choice. On the Saturday I concentrate on the Spanish bottles where I find too much oak, although in their opinion this muscular imprint helps them to sell.

I am fascinated by the immense quality potential of the Portuguese and Chilean wines and I am completely taken by the Eolo wine, obtained from a vineyard planted in 1912 in the Trivento winery. Sunday was dedicated to tasting South African wines (where I enjoy a taste of an excellent De Toren 2010) that I know very well thanks to my 6 trips, unsuccessful, to find a partner with whom to create a winery.

I taste around ten Bordeaux remaining impressed by the oak, although well  amalgamated, make them apt as  “vin de garde” that will remain for years and years in the investors cellars. I pick up again with Champagne and discover a real gem where freshness balance an oxidative stile: it is called Femme (name that makes it very dear to me) and is by Duval LeRoy.

Zurich-sunset-23-february-2019

Then am intrigued to find bottles about which I have written in my blog, like the Argentinean Catena Zapata Malbec with its label full of skeletons and nude women. It’s like meeting up with old friends. And then we find friends in flesh and blood, like Elena Fucci with her husband Andrea, Paolo Bianchini who tells me how he managed to get Alex Zanardi to come to Benvenuto Brunello, Tamara Maccherini who now works for Regaleali

Wine Advocate- Robert Parker tasters

Many of the Wine Advocate-Robert Parker tasters were present including the chief Lisa Perrotti-Brown Master of Wine who is responsible for the Bordeaux and Napa wines. Then Monica Larner, who tastes Italian wines, Stephan Reinhardt, reviewer for Switzerland, Champagne, Loire, Germany, Alsace, and Austria, and William Kelley, taster for Burgundy.

They consequently guide stellar master classes. What is stunning is their young age: Reinhart with his total white hair has a handsome face that makes him similar to an actor or a model, Kelley looks like a teenager and is described by Monica Larner as a genius with a prodigious memory because he can quote without hesitation the vertical tastings of all the wineries.

Calaf and Brunello become a chocolate masterpiece

Calaf, the prince in the Turandot by Puccini, gives its name to the dark chocolate pralines containing drops fine wines such as our Brunello

Calaf from the Turandot, in chocolate

Calaf-e-Brunello-DonatellaCinelliClombini

Calaf-e-Brunello-DonatellaCinelliClombini

Calaf is a series of 9 pralines in dark chocolate filled with drops of Brunello, Amarone, Fiano di Avellino, Passerina del Frusinate, Malvasia, Passito di Pantelleria, Primitivo and Taurasi. Obviously the Brunello is one produced by Donatella Cinelli Colombini.

Every bon bon is packaged, as if it were a jewel, in single boxes, or in a box set that contains the whole series of 9-18 chocolates.  On the outside there are drawings from the beginning of the 20th century, a clear exotic inspiration that recalls the protagonist of the Turandot.  Calaf is in fact a Chinese prince that succeeds in transforming into a woman in love, the beautiful but bloodthirsty Princess called Turandot. This old fable became famous because of the music written by Giacomo Puccini and never finished by the composer because of his passing. For this reason, during the first performance in (1926) at the Teatro Alla Scala, the Maestro Toscanini interrupted the representation at the point where the composer had left it, and refused, even in later occasions to perform the completed version by Franco Alfano.

Calaf and the fine wine and love pralines

 

Calaf-praline-with-Brunello

So Calaf is a love hero. He who puts his life at risk to have the woman he loves. And it is this romantic character that Nadia Pagliuca, born in Campania but now living in Tuscany that inspired her to create a high end series of exclusive chocolates.

To open her boxes is an aromatic experience even before becoming a taste experience, because the aroma of the bon bons is so intoxicating. Each box can per personalized and become a present unlike any other.

Calaf is the second of Nadia’s projects in Tuscany. In 2012 she opened “La Confetteria Firenze” with the support of a famous confectioner from Sulmona. Here, in this partnership, the first Chianti filled bon bon was born, and inevitably it became a constant presence at weddings in Tuscany. The new Calaf project regards Nadia Pagliuca together with a group of family members and friends with whom a series of pralines, where chocolate and fine wines are mixed, has been studied and tested.

Foglia Tonda is a new star of the Tuscan vineyard

Forum regarding the old grape variety called Foglia Tonda with wines from 9 wineries. Donatella Cinelli Colombini and Gianni Fabrizio tell the story and the characteristics

 

Foglia-Tonda-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

On Friday February the 1st at Fattoria del Colle, in Southern Tuscany, the Foglia Tonda grape variety will make its debut into wine society, where there is a comparison between great winemaking in front of great wine critics. Donatella Cinelli Colombini, host and initiator of the rediscovery of this old Sienese grape variety abandoned more than 100 years ago and now once again of interest to the market and to the experts. She together with another 8 colleagues will tell the story and give a tasting of wines based on Foglia Tonda variety.

 

FOGLIA TONDA FORUM – HOW IT WAS ORGANIZED

<<We found 18 wineries producing Foglia Tonda and 9 of them, from all over Tuscany have replied to our invitation. The forum allows a group of experts and influencers to get to know the Foglia Tonda characteristics better, within its terroir and style differences>>explained the famous taster and journalist Gianni Fabrizio. He will guide the tasting of three of the wines presents obtained with only  Foglia Tonda , where some aged in an amphora will give the possibility of better understanding the fruit, ad two blends will give the possibility to consider the potential of Foglia Tonda as a partner for  Sangiovese, main variety in Tuscany. The other 4 wines will be served directly by their producers with an around the table setting.

 

Foglia-tonda-forum-2019

PARTICIPANTS OF THE FOGLIA TONDA FORUM

Podere Sequerciani (Gavorrano GR), Podere Ema (Grassina FI), Mocine (Asciano SI), Il Castellaccio (Castagneto Carducci LI), Donatella Cinelli Colombini Az.Agr. (Trequanda SI), Mammuccini Droandi Nuova Agricoltura (Montevarchi AR), Podere Anima Mondi (Casciana Terme PI), Santa Vittoria (Foiano della Chiana AR), Poggio al Vento Mascelloni (Castiglion d’Orcia SI).

                                               

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