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Sangiovese Tag

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”.

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.

A great Brunello 2013 riserva Casato Prime Donne

2013 was a vintage that started low key, and that later convinced experts and consumers all over the world. In the Riserva versions it aims to get to the top of the ratings

 

2013 harvest Annibale the dog

This had already happened in the past when the 2009 bettered all expectations and so became one of the cult vintages for Brunello.

The 2013 vintage had a rainy winter and a cool summer, a typical climate for long lasting and important Brunello. Shortly after the harvest the wine did not seem so special but after the time spent in barrel it finally revealed its extraordinary elegance.

The Brunello stars

To understand what happened let me tell you how the stars get awarded to Brunello vintages. Long ago the evaluation of vintages was done by expert wine journalists but in 1992 the Consorzio del Brunello decided to do it itself, with rigorous and above all objective criteria. From that moment onwards, every year, its asks the Montalcino wineries, for a sample of the new vintage just born. It has all samples analysed and then reunites a panel of technicians made up of the best wine makers. Their opinion is expressed in stars: 1 star for a bad year, 5 stars for the excellent ones.

During the presentation of the new Brunello, half way through February, the President of the Consorzio reveals the number of stars that have been attributed to the new vintage. This rating is portrayed on a ceramic tile positioned, each year, on the facade of the Old Town Hall in Montalcino and also on our fermentation room facade at Casato Prime Donne.

Harvest-Brunello-2013-sorting-table

This method has been criticized during past years; the amount of 5 stars vintages has increased greatly with the climate changes, and some vintages, especially after barrel ageing, reveal qualities that are much

superior to the expectations.

This is exactly the case of the 2013 vintage, that obtained at the time just 4 stars. But after its barrel ageing it has been judged, by many of the best tasters, as superior to the 2012, that in fact had had a better rating.

Cenerentola Doc Orcia, a wine with a crown

2016  old style harvest that excites wines lovers and puts a crown on the Cenerentola DOC Orcia label

A vintage this 2016 to be framed: depth, complexity, and finesse, and  longevity, characteristics that only a slow ripening of the grapes can give to a wine.

The Sangiovese, main variety used in Cenerentola DOC Orcia (together with Foglia Tonda), produces grapes that are meteoropathic, so can go mad and ruin if the climate is adverse. Its skin is made up of few layers of cells so it needs the help of the sun to express itself at its best. For this reason in the high hills of Southern Toscana, where the climate is dry but cool, Sangiovese has its ideal habitat and reached levels of excellence impossible elsewhere in the world.

Foglia-tonda-donatella-cinelli-colombini-225x300

There were surprises regarding the harvest date too: the vines had sprouted a good 15 days earlier than usual, and everyone, including us, thought that the harvest would have been precocious one. On the contrary already when the veraison happened (changing of the colour of the grapes from green to blue) the calendar of the vegetation cycle was already aligned with the traditional one, then the ripening proceeded regularly and slowly. In 2016 for the first time in a long time, the clusters reached the time of harvest at  a snail’s pace with a mass of sugar in the berries growing slower than the poliphenolic ripening, that of the noble substances in the skins. In 2016 the first semester of the year was very rainy, the soil was hydrated in depth creating reserves for the hot months, but also disturbing the flowering to such a point that the number and dimensions of the clusters  was drastically reduced. Then a topsy-turvy summer arrived. With hot days –over 35°c- alternated by storms of great violence, and the wine producers have been really scared that the hail would arrive. Those who like us were saved from the calamity, have had one of the best harvest man can remember.

                                               

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