Brunello di Montalcino 2016 from Casato Prime Donne
2016 is a vintage like a marathon runner. Born form a very long vegetative cycle of the vines, Brunello 2016 has deep and exiting aromas, in the mouth it is silky and powerful. Apt for long cellaring
A 5 star vintage. Like the gestation period of a human being there is a process that brings the grapes to the day they are picked and it lasts a precise time, and varies only because of the climate, but generally made up of three 2-month phases for a total of 180 days.
In 2016 the budding of the vines took place 15 days sooner than normal and this should have brought forward the harvesting period by 15 days. Instead the biological cycles slowed down and the harvest took place at the usual time.
The ripening was perfect, like every grape grower dreams of. Sunny days, cold nights, only one storm on September 18th. Small clusters with small berries and a parallel evolution between skin and pulp that brought to the harvesting day with a perfect technical and poliphenolic ripening.
BRUNELLO 2016 AND DONATELLA RETURNS TO THE ORIGINS
For Donatella Cinelli Colombini and the Casato Prime Donne winery 2016 was a return to tradition, vinifying Brunello in concrete tanks with mechanized punching down of the cap of grape skins. Obviously these are up to the minute French tanks, as is the punch down mechanical system, but the procedure is the same as 500 years ago. The yeast too, that set off the fermentation, was authentically form Montalcino and has been selected at Casato Prime Donne through experimentation lasting seven years.
The return to tradition from long ago has coincided with a picking of the grapes based on a separation of the clusters according to their level of ripening. These are chosen one by one, by hand, in the vineyard as the old farmers used to do. A system that slows the harvesting times but allows the vinification of grapes that are all with the same character and later, the ageing in barrel or tonneaux most apt for the future Brunello. A “tailor made” job done by master craftspeople who create works of art in a bottle.
TECHNICAL TASTING SHEET FOR BRUNELLO 2016
TYPE: dry red.
PRODUCTION AREA: Tuscany, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne
CLIMATE: the first six months of the year were the rainiest since 1916. The spring was cold. The summer was very hot interrupted though by big storms. During the summer the phylloxera on the leaves was evident. The veraison began on July 20th, In September the temperature range between hot day and cool night made for a perfect ripening.
GRAPE VARIETY: 100% Sangiovese
HARVEST AND BARREL AGEING OF THE BRUNELLO 2016
GRAPE HARVEST: From September 26th to 30th . The grapes were picked by hand cluster by cluster. In the cellar the sorting table allowed a further selection of the grapes. The clusters and berries were small. Perfect ripening with moderately high alcohol content.
VINIFICATION: 15 days in small truncated cone shaped unlined temperature controlled concrete vats; open on top and with a mechanized punching of the cap. After the alcoholic fermentation the wine stayed 20 days in the vats to macerate with the grape skins.
BARREL AGEING: in big barrels and in 5 and 7 hl French oak tonneau produced by 4 artisan workshops that use oak from century old trees .Before bottling this Brunello has spent time in the unlined concrete tanks.
QUANTITY PRODUCED: 35.000 bottles.
ORGANOLEPTIC ANALYSIS OF BRUNELLO 2016
COLOUR: ruby red brilliant, in the glass the movement is slow thanks to the richness in noble components.
AROMA: deep, full, exciting, rich in different hints such as ripe black berries, exotic fruit and spices.
TASTE: soft like thick silk velvet that through its weft allows a peek of the imposing acid and tannin structures. These components will allow this wine to last in time. A long intense and pleasant finish.
BRUNELLO 2016 AT THE TABLE
FOOD PAIRING: Wine for great occasions, perfectly matched with tasty and not fatty dishes like roasts and aged cheeses.
HOW TO SERVE: Room temperature (18-°C).Clear, balloon shaped glassware. It is best to open the wine one hour before serving and to decant.
CELLARING: 20-30 years and more. Great vintage for cellaring. Lay the bottles down, in a cold and dark place. Have the corks changed in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s winery when the level of the wine begins to descend to the shoulder of the bottle.