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Rosso di Montalcino DOC

Rosso di Montalcino

Denominazione di Origine Controllata

This is Brunello’s younger and smiley brother, obtained from the same Sangiovese grapes and the same Montalcino area but destined to be consumed sooner.

Montalcino, the land where Sangiovese expresses itself best in the whole world and where wines that can last centuries are born, can also produce a great young red wine. This seems a contradiction but it is not. It demonstrates the expertise of the grape growers in this territory. In fact the characteristics of the future wines comes from the clusters; grapes destined to become Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino are cultivated for this destiny right from birth. Poorer soils for the first and more fertile ones for the second. Less clusters for the first, slightly more for the latter. Most of all during harvest the specific characters of both must be made evident, choosing with care the harvest date and vinifying in the most delicate way


Casato Prime Donne is a 40 hectare property on the northern slope of Montalcino. It has belonged to Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s family at least since the end of the 16th century when her ancestors were already paying taxes for the farm products grown here. During the last three generations the farm has been passed from mother to daughter: it belonged to the grandmother Giuliana Tamanti, and then to the mother Francesca Colombini and Donatella will give it to her daughter Violante.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini owns this estate since 1998 and has give it back its old splendour, like when her ancestors used to spend their honeymoon here. She has also given this location a special meaning, as it is the first winery in Italy to be all female staffed, a flagship for women who work in wine. Every year Casato Prime Donne finances an award that bears the same name and that emphasized women who are of example and an encouragement to other women. Every winner gives us a quotation that remains forever positioned along a meditative trail path through the vineyards and the cellar. Next to the quotation there is always a work of contemporary art by a Tuscan artist that embellished even more the splendid territory of the Valdorcia where the winery is found

Bottles Produced: From 30.000 to 50.000 every year based on the production of Brunello di Montalcino.

Ratings: 90 – 91/100 from some of the most prestigious international wine magazines


Grape variety and vineyards

100% Sangiovese. The vineyards at Casato Prime Donne are cultivated following the organic regime and in all cover 16 hectares, of which 3 always destined to the production of Rosso di Montalcino. They are on the northern area of Montalcino, the coolest, on a hill at about 225 m above sea level with a splendid exposition towards midday. The soil is of early quaternary origin made up of clays and sea sands. The vineyards are divided into 6 small parcels and contain 5000 vines per hectare. These are cultivated with the spurred cordon method. The average production is of 6 tons of grapes per hectare.

Harvest and vinification

The harvest takes place between September 15th and October 10th depending on the climate of the year, and it is done by hand. The clusters are chosen right in the vineyard and then the berries are selected on an automatic sorting table where two women work. Generally the grapes for Rosso di Montalcino arrive first and then those for the Brunello. At Casato Prime Donne, Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s property on the Montalcino hill, an experiment that began in 2008 selected a local native yeast, this brought about the yeast called Tusco, a typical strain from this region and different to any other. The Brunello and the Rosso di Montalcino are vinified with this yeast in the fermentation area built next to the vineyard especially to select the strains. It contains small truncated cone shaped stainless steel vats that are temperature controlled and have a mechanical system for the punching of the cap that permits us to vinify without the use of pumps. Each vat contains one day’s handpicked grapes, so as to vinify in ideal conditions. The Rosso di Montalcino vinification is slightly shorter and more delicate than the Brunello one. After about 10 days the fermentation is finished and the new wine begins a period of maceration with the grape skins that lasts between 10 and 15 days depending on the quality of the berries.

Barrel ageing

After the racking /separation of the wine from the lees, made up of the grape skins), around February the Rosso di Montalcino begins its ageing in oak barrels that get chosen according the characteristics of the vintage –from 5 to 40 hl in size – with or without toasting . The duration of barrel ageing also varies according to the wine and can go can go for some months. The objective is to keep a Rosso di Montalcino perfectly harmonious and pleasant. Rich in taste, with soft tannins and great finesse.

Home ageing:3-4 years and not much more. Keep the bottles lying down in a dark and cool place.


Colour:very intense and brilliant ruby red.

Aroma: fine rich, well expressed, recalls ripe small red berries, spices and dark flowers such as violets.

Taste: full, harmonious, pleasant, the tannins are silky and well balanced by the richness in fruit. The persistence is pleasant and lengthy.

Way of serving

Serve at a temperature between 16-18°C, in balloon shaped wine goblets. Those who wish to open and drink immediately will find useful using a decanter.

Food pairing

This is a perfect wine for the table and is very versatile, apt for important first courses, roasts, tasty cheeses and cold cuts. The harmonious and graceful power of this wine requires food that is intense in taste but not too fatty or greasy.