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Chianti Superiore DOCG 2017

2017 the lowest yield vintage ever brought to the winery gives us a Chianti Superiore, really superior, at Fattoria del Colle in the south of Tuscany

2017 will remain in the history of European viticulture as the year of the great frost. At the end of April, for three consecutive nights an arctic cold wave crossed the continent reaching as far as Spain and Sicily and destroying the buds that, that year, had sprouted 20 days in advance. The photos of Burgundy and Collio with the fires in the vineyards were on the front pages of the newspapers to show the heroism of the winemakers who fought, unfortunately, unnecessarily.
Who, like us, was saved from the frost, then had to fight with the drought and the summer heat that reached 43°C for ten days in a row. The rains of late August and September literally saved the vines and the harvest.
The last scourge was the wild boar which, driven by thirst, also ate the unripe grapes.

What makes the world of wine change

Climate, more value and less volume, brexit, China, Eastern Europe and Asia. But let’s look at the lists of British wines to discover the new trends


Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The colossus of Wine Intelligence marketing surveys, excellently commented by the Italian WineMeridian, takes stock of the 5 elements that are changing the wine sector. I’ve added some comments.


The vineyards go north and go to the mountains. Everything becomes excessive: heat, typhoons, fires, floods…. But in spite of this, the number of good harvests and the quality of the wines is constantly growing also in the historical areas.

Italian restaurants with high online approval

Customer satisfaction for Italian restaurants exceeds 85%, especially the reception and less the price. On top are Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto



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The Travel Appeal report analyses every year the reviews in the main online tourist portals that for half concerns  restaurants. In the period September 2018-August 2019 customer ratings were over twenty million and therefore constitute a very large sample of evaluation.

The best Italian restaurants in the world

Passerini in Paris wins, second place for Don Alfonso in Toronto and bronze medal for Heinz Beck’s Tokyo venue



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The ranking 50 Top Italy with the best 50 Italian restaurants in the world is available online and is the first result of the LSDM project (historical congress of kitchen author that takes place in Paestum) curated by its creators, Barbara Guerra and Albert Sapere, along with the journalist Luciano Pignataro.


Brunello 2015 Donatella Cinelli Colombini

A huge five-star vintage of Brunello that began to be celebrated even before entering the market and combines power, elegance and longevity

Vendemmia Brunello 2015 Montalcino

Casato Prime Donne Montalcino Vendemmia Sangiovese

The climatic trend shows the typical characteristics of the best Brunello with rainy winter and spring that have hydrated the soil, very hot July that has blocked a vegetative development determining a reduced size of the grapes, August with thunderstorms alternating with hot days, September with very strong thermal variation between night and day that have favoured the synthesis of perfumes. A script that repeats itself for all the great vintages of Brunello and seems to show that global warming is an authentic luck for the Montalcino vineyard because it multiplies the five-star vintages and raises the quality level to highs never reached in the past.

The influencers of wine to keep an eye on

Who wants to create his blog and who wants to be always informed about the news of the world of wine: here are the Top Wine influencer



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The list comes from Sommelier Choice Award and therefore expresses the point of view of sommeliers, that is of a very, very demanding and English-speaking internet users. I have summarized some concepts but I invite you to consult the original article for all the information.
The influencers are of increasing importance, they create a trend, they guide the choices of consumers, especially young consumers. Their target is less elite than the great gurus, the super tasters of the Wine Spectator, Robert Parker and similar.

They speak a simpler language and not strictly related to the quality contained in the bottles. In the world of wine critics, infuencers are looked upon with great suspicion and sometimes with explicit condemnation mainly because social media channels do not have the same ethical codes of journalism and in fact are teeming with fake news and “viral incompetents”. Also the great Luciano Ferraro expressed himself with very tough terms against the influencers during the forum of young wine organized during the Milano Wine Week 2019. In fact, almost at the top of the list there was also his Divine blog that is really trendy.

Why the cork makes wine sell in USA

Over half of the wine sold in the USA is chosen quickly, without too much expertise, in food stores and if it has cork it is preferred

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How does the US consumer choose wine? In the world’s largest market, 70% of wine purchases take place without the help of specialist staff. About half of the wine is sold in grocery stores. This percentage would rise to 70% if it were not for a dozen states, the marketing of alcohol is separate from that of food. For example in New York City the wonderful eataly shop had to build a separate area to sell Barolo, Chianti and grappa.

In the USA wine in bottle represents 90% of the total while that in can or in brik is a marginal part.
Most customers choose quickly and without great skills. For this reason, the purchasing decision is oriented, in a decisive way, by the visible characteristics of the wine such as the price or the closing.

The War of the Great Selection

The Chianti Consortium approves the Great Selection and the Chianti Classico Consortium, which created this type in 2014 is angry


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I must say that I have vineyards of Chianti both at the Fattoria del Colle di Trequanda and at Casato Prime Donne di Montalcino. I am therefore involved in the dispute “Gran selezione” with a clear advantage to produce this premium type with my grapes.


Putting aside the personal interest I try to look at the whole affair objectively, noting how risky it can be and in some respects counterproductive for Tuscan wine, which is going through a complicated period with declining sales and starving exports.
For years I have been witnessing with regret the difficulties of dialogue between the Chianti and Chianti Classico consortia. I had hoped that with the constitution of the IGT Toscana consortium led by the very good Cesare Cecchi and the equally capable director Campatelli, the reasons for friction were overcome. All Tuscan consortia meet in AVITO and also have a body with which they collectively organize participation in Prowein.


The most expensive wines of the last 20 years

There is a clear difference between the price and the wineries of origin of the wines on average more expensive than those currently on sale in the last 20 years


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Romanée Conti-vini-più-cari-del-mondo

Romanée Conti-vini-più-cari-del-mondo

I am not referring to the bottles that can’t be found, produced in very small series, such as the 250 copies of Liber Pater 2015 that will be sold at the price of 30.000 € each. In this case it is a wine practically impossible to find, according to its producer Loïc Pasquet will be sent to a list of collectors who have already booked them.


The ultra-expensive wines to which I refer are, however, widespread in the best wine bars in the world, such as La Tâche Romanée-Conti. These bottles are therefore destined for a small club of millionaires and are only present in extraordinarily exclusive places but not of wines that cannot be found.
The list published by Wine searcher and taken from its mastodonic data base concerns 750 ml bottles that have been on the list of the most expensive specimens several times in the last 20 years.
Prices are the average ones in Dollars and do not include taxes.

Expectations affect the perception of wine

Wine looks good or bad, white or red depending on how the taster sees it or expects it. There is no objective judgment if not blindfolded

DI Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Do you remember in school when good students got high marks even in the case of mediocre performances? We have all seen cases of this kind.
And it does not depend on the

professor having a favourite student but on the expectations that condition those who express the judgment.



In wine it is the same: the good ones are always good and the mediocre ones are always mediocre. Regardless of the objective quality of the bottle.

It is not a criticism of the critics but a fact that Vincenzo Russo, professor of
neuromarketing at IULM in Milan and Italian expert on brain processes related to perception explains us with crystalline clarity. Objective perception only exists in a tasting without images, sounds, smells, … and even tactile sensations that interfere.

In fact, 50% of brain cells serve visual informations. Seeing the label of a wine that pleases affects the other senses but even less is  necessary to obtain an alteration of the gustatory perception like being in an environment illuminated by red or green light, listen to music dominated by serious or acute sounds… to alter the taste.


Also in wines with the inscription “Does not contain sulphites added” there are sulphites and those who are allergic should not drink them. Some clarification on a rule that confuses

Vendemmia-2019-Sangiovese -con-due-giorni-di-vinificazione

Vendemmia-2019-Sangiovese -con-due-giorni-di-vinificazione

Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

All wine contains sulphites.
Sulphites are naturally present and therefore writings like “Does not contain sulphites” on wine bottles are incorrect, forbidden and even dangerous because those who are allergic to sulphites might be led to think that they can drink Bacchus nectar, but that is not the case. Sulphites are always present in small quantities.

However, most sulphites arrive in wine during its production. In winemaking practices, sulphur dioxide or potassium metabisulfite are used with antioxidant, preservative and antiseptic functions. When such additions increase the amount of sulphites in the wine to above 10 milligrams per litre, which means almost always, the bottle must bear the phrase “Contains added sulphites” in the language of the country in which it is marketed. For this reason, most labels have this indication in many different languages.

Pinot Noir to make a good impression

Put aside the clichés that the good Pinot Noir is always very expensive, that the best New Zealand wine is Sauvignon … here are 9 amazing but affordable Pinot

2015 Greenhough Hope Vineyard Pinot Noir, Nelson, New Zealand

2015 Greenhough Hope Vineyard Pinot Noir, Nelson, New Zealand

Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The name itself evokes elegance: Pinot Noir, like the black velvet dress to wear at a gala dinner.
The word that is automatically associated with Pinot Noir is Burgundy and immediately after the most famous and celebrated winery Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Hence another association of ideas: Pinot Noir equals high price. Of course, if we think about the one just mentioned, the figures are astronomical: 20,600 dollars a bottle of average. Half a case costs as much as a house.



But perhaps, coming out of these clichés and above all exploring the new producing regions it is possible to taste splendid Pinot Noir without emptying the account: New Zealand, Oregon, Chile, Australia, Germany, Argentina…
From Wine searcher comes the list of Pinot Noir with the highest quality and the most affordable price. It derives from a simple division between the average of the critical scores and the average of the sales lists.

Hong Kong, James Suckling, China and Brunello

In Hong Kong with the 100 Italian wineries chosen by James Suckling. In China with Brunello among the skyscrapers of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai

James-Suckling-Hong-Kong- Great-wines-of-Italy-2019

James-Suckling-Hong-Kong- Great-wines-of-Italy-2019


Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

After the very rainy Italian autumn Hong Kong looks like paradise. Spring temperatures, sunshine and a glittering city where shop windows overflow with luxury products. The city is a huge luxury shopping centre along the streets and inside the skyscrapers connected by covered walkways. From the bay the night show astonishes, it seems to be inside a gigantic cartoon with hundreds of skyscrapers coloured with drawings and lights.


My husband Carlo Gardini and I, do not see the students protagonists of the protests of which the media around the world have spoken, but we meet groups of policemen in riot gear and we see in the newspapers the damage they have done: 85 of the 94 major damaged metro stations and 62 of the smallest. Destroyed 1800 turnstiles 1100 ticket machines, 1200 surveillance cameras and 170 between escalators and elevators. If these are the visible damages, the most disastrous ones are the damages to the Hong Kong economy where tourism has literally collapsed. In October the decrease of the arrivals has been  43.7% less than the same month of 2018. The effects on the restaurant industry have been very heavy: 300 restaurants closed since last June. For Italian wine is a disaster because importers do not sell and therefore do not buy.

Wine searcher: interest in Italian wine grows

In 2018 users of Wine searcher, the portal with the prices of all the wines in the world, have made 151 million searches: 47% on the French and 16% on ours


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Wine searcher is a huge portal, based in New Zealand, which brings together the commercial proposals of the best retailers in the world. People that want to know the price of a certain wine can search for it using the name or a picture of a wine label. They will receive the list of prices and shops where to buy it including e-commerce. Then they can give their opinion.


The countries where Wine searcher is most used are the United States, from which one third of all wine searches comes, followed by the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong and France. Note that 30% of the American population does not drink wine while the use of Wine searcher corresponds to 10% of the inhabitants evidencing a strong habit to verify on line their choices or, as Don Kavanagh hypothesizes, an almost obsessive relationship with wine. This is particularly true in Great Britain, where 12% of the total population are users. However the most enthusiastic about Wine-searcher are the people of Hong Kong. In fact, the inhabitants of the former British colony are only 7.5 million people and research on the New Zealand wine portal is equivalent to 80% of them.

The best wine shops in the world

Wine searcher has selected the world’s top 2826 wine shops and 1224 top merchands in its immense international database of wine and alcohol retailers

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They are located in 167 cities and 32 countries and have been se

l’Enoteca Vino Nostro di San Francisco

l’Enoteca Vino Nostro di San Francisco

lected among the 20,454 re-sales listed by Wine searcher, according to the richness of the assortment and the high quality of services offered to customers such as the presence of competent staff and multilingual, or the offer of samples.
Gold, silver and bronze medals have been awarded to the most talented of the 21 categories relating to the best portfolio of  Burbon, Bordeaux or Burgundy wines, Chilean or Portuguese wines, bubbles and côtes du Rhône, Whisky of malt …. and of course Italian wines and even Tuscan wines.


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