Brunello Prime Donne: story of a challenge
Donatella Cinelli Colombini had just started designing the company that bears her name when she realized that women managers and consumers counted for nothing. Brunello Prime Donne: story of a challenge
Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne is very traditional in style, produced in a small exclusive selection.
It owes its exceptionality to the grapes of Sangiovese from which it is born. The small size of the bunches and grapes allow it to combine longevity, an extraordinary elegance and a surprising pleasure. The solid acidic and tannic structure is in fact barely perceptible thanks to a perfect harmony.
HISTORY OF A CHALLENGE: BRUNELLO PRIME DONNE
Brunello Prime Donne selection was produced for the first time with the 1993 vintage.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini had just begun to design the company that bears her name and that is characterized by the two wineries– Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda – with an entirely female staff. The attention to the role of women in wine led Donatella to observe that wine critics and curators of the Italian wine guides were, in 1998, all men.
She decided to reaffirm the importance of women’s taste in the choice of wine by creating the first Brunello selected from a feminine and international panel. The first group consisted of 4 tasters, the English Master of Wine Maureen Ashley, the German wine maker Astrid Schwarz, one of the best Italian sommeliers Daniela Scrobogna and the Italian-american Pr Marina Thompson.
Over the years, the group has changed to become the current one composed of two Masters of Wine, the English Rosemary George and the Swedish Madeleine Stenwreth, as well as Astrid Schwarz and Daniela Scrobogna.
The tasters taste the wines of the different vineyards blindfolded and then decide the type of barrels to use, the duration of maturation and the blend between the different types.
In the beginning, Brunello Prime Donne was a bold challenge, a premium red wine traditionally designed for male consumers who bow to the taste of women. Over the years its success as a public and critic has gone hand in hand with the affirmation of the female gender as a buyer of high-end red wines. Today Brunello Prime Donne is exported to 30 countries around the world and is a symbol of courage, ethical values and a challenge to clichés.
BRUNELLO PRIME DONNE BOTTLES PRODUCED
Bottles produced: Small selection of 6,000 – 12,000 bottles per year. The quantity varies according to the quality of the harvest. In difficult vintages, Brunello Prime Donne is not produced, while in vintages with a larger production it is possible to exceed the 10,000 bottles maintaining a standard of absolute excellence.
BRUNELLO PRIME DONNE AWARDS
Awards: Brunello Prime Donne’s rating ranges from 94 to 95 cents by the leading international specialized press
100% Sangiovese grapes.
Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne project is produced from the Sangiovese vineyards of Casato Prime Donne in the northern part of Montalcino. Almost always the grapes come from a small particle called “Ardita” about 2.5 hectares. It is a vineyard of extraordinary quality, planted in 2001 at 225 m above sea level with south exposure, on Pliocene soils with a prevalence of clay.
These soils are therefore “poor” in which the vines produce very small bunches and berries. In addition they are “cool soils”, a characteristic that, together with the dislocation in the less warm part of the territory of Brunello, allows long and regular ripening of the grapes.
The vines are cultivated in spurred cordon and in an organic way.
The average production is around 5.5 tons per hectare and only in exceptionally favourable vintages rises to 6.5 tons. The harvest is always manual and its date is decided by tasting the grapes. Precisely, according to the day of the harvest of the Ardita vineyard, the calendar of the harvest is fixed in the other vineyards of Casato Prime Donne.
MATURATION AND BOTTLE AGING
The wine ages for five years, three years in tonneau of 7 hl of French oak and then in large Slavonian oak barrels. In the last period before bottling Brunello is kept in bare cement vats. Bottling almost always takes place one year before marketing. Brunello waits to leave the cellar in the dark, in the air-conditioned warehouses at 16°C.
Sold in wooden cases of 6 bottles whose lid was designed in 2019 by Daniela Pazzaglia.