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
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.
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.
BRUNELLO RISERVA 2013 DEL CASATO PRIME DONNE
The Brunello Riserva by Donatella Cinelli Colombini comes from a small vineyard of about two hectares called “Ardita” and is positioned on top of the hill that dominates over Casato Prime Donne. It was planted in 2001 with Sangiovese spurred cordon trained vines. The density of vines is around 5,500 per hectare and is manually cared for all year long, right up to harvest.
Donatella’s’ ancestors already owned this property at the end of the 16 century but the extraordinary quality potential of the Ardita vineyard has emerged with recent climatic changes, so now experts from all over the world find it to be one of the best vineyards in Montalcino.
2013 vintage in Brunello
Vineyard: Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne, Ardita vineyard
Climate: Rainy and snowy winter. Very rainy spring, this disturbed the flowering and so reduced the amount of clusters. Long vegetative cycle with a slow technological (alcohol and acid) and poliphenolic ripening, thanks to the cool temperatures in September. These characteristics are typical of Brunello destined to a long ageing.
Grape type: 100% Sangiovese.
Grape harvest: from September 26th to October 1st, few small clusters, all perfectly sound, with a homogeneous ripening perfectly lignified grape seeds and a perfect technological and poliphenolic ripening. The harvest was manual, the clusters were checked one by one before reaching the cellar. Successively two women on the sorting table discarded the defected berries.
Vinification: In small stainless steel truncated cone shaped vats, each individually temperature controlled and open on top, to facilitate the punching downs. The yeasts used were indigenous ones from Casato Prime Donne. The alcoholic fermentation lasted 14 days and was then followed by 20 days of maceration.
Barrel ageing: 5 -7 hl small French oak tonneaux produced by 5 artisans who assure manual production. The type of oak, charring and dimension of the barrels has been specifically chosen based on the character of the wine. There has been no filtering before bottling.
Quantity produced: 6,600 bottles.
ORGANOLEPTIC TASTING OF BRUNELLO RISERVA 2013
Colour: bright ruby red, typical of Sangiovese. The slow movements in the glass emphasize the structure and richness of the wine.
Aroma: Net, fine, rich in red fruit suggestions, and spices, with hints of coffee, chocolate and tobacco.
Taste: Harmonious, velvety, the taste widens with an effect of fullness, this is also vertical and lasts pleasantly after having swallowed.
Matching dishes: important meat dishes and aged cheeses. It needs food that is very intense in taste.
Way of serving: Room temperature (18°C). Use balloon shaped crystal wine goblets. Open and decant a few hours before serving.
Home ageing: 30 years and more. Keep the bottles lying down in a dark and cool place. Have the corks changed in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s winery, a certified operation to be done 20 years from bottling.