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Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Toscana Rosso 2019

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents her Supertuscan Il Drago e le 8 Colombe, for the first time in organic version

 

2019 the harvest of the super Sangiovese, the year in which the bunches and berries of the king of Tuscany grape variety looked like Cabernet, the king of the Bordeaux vineyard.A dream of a harvest, with abundant, perfect grapes that were harvested by hand and then vinified in small vats where the must quickly took on a very intense colour.

Sangiovese 2019 grape harvest after 4 days

Sangiovese 2019 grape harvest after 4 days

The bunches of Sagrantino and Merlot, which also make up the blend of Il Drago e le 8 Colombe were also of the highest quality. Each grape variety was vinified separately but, to make the most of the richness of the 2019 grapes, all made a very long post fermentation maceration. For this reason the racking was postponed for a week – ten days for all types: Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino.

There was also a small variation in the aging in cask compared to usual. When the wine was ready to be moved from the vats to the barrels, the Covid epidemic caused the first lockdown, forcing the cellar work to be slowed down. Too bad because precisely because of the superior quality of the vintage, the quantity of barrels purchased was greater than usual.

 

IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE: A WINE DEDICATED TO MEN FROM THE ALL-FEMALE WINERY

The cellars belonging to Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle, in Trequanda, where this wine is born, are the first in Italy with an entirely female staff. Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is dedicated to the only male present: Carlo Gardini, husband to Donatella and creator of small, highly awarded series of Passito and Vin Santo. He is the dragon mentioned in the name of the wine and surrounded by 8 doves: the consultant Valérie Lavigne, the oenologists Barbara, Sabrina, Giada and the cellar staff, the incoming and sales staff. An oenological gynoecium that is constantly growing in number.

 

SUPERTUSCAN – IGT TOSCANA IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is an “author’s wine” and does not belong to any denomination. This category arises from the need to express the creativity of wine makers without subjecting them to the rules of the Doc-Docg regulations. The name Supertuscan highlights the qualitative ambitions of the wines of this type which enjoy a great international prestige. Il Drago e le 8 Colombe contains three different grape varieties: Sangiovese, which gives the wine its elegance, Merlot (20%) which adds pleasantness and Sagrantino (20%) which increases the structure. All the grapes are grown, vinified, aged in cask, bottled and refined at Fattoria del Colle in compliance with the BIO (organic) rules.

 

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.