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.
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.
With the 2026 harvest Cenerentola gains a princely crown on the label. This is the sign of the accomplishment of a project that began in 2000 with the first experimentations
with the old variety called Foglia Tonda, abandoned practically 100 years ago and now back to excellent quality performances after experimentation and assiduous care in the fields at Fattoria del Colle. Trials and analysis that have carried on in the winery where the 5-7 hl tonneaux in French oak have been chosen as the most apt to give full harmony to the wine.
The two varieties that make Cenerentola – Sangiovese and Foglia Tonda- are picked, vinified and aged in barrel separately to be blended only just before bottling. This methods allows the grapes from every vineyard to have a “made to measure” ripening in the right cask and for the right amount of time.
Cenerentola DOC Orcia has reached an incredible success with the critics and with the consumers and is now served at royal tables just like in the story and in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s dream.
The Orcia appellation was created on February 14th 2000 in the hilly region between the Brunello and Nobile di Montepulciano production areas. Basically she has two stepsisters, older, more famous and like the Cinderella in the fairytale, she was destined to stay at home while the others went to the princes ball. But, with a little magic and lots of courage, Cenerentola the wine gets to be served at the Prince’s table charming him with him with the different and unique timbre of the autochthonous varieties that make it and, in the end she gets her well deserved crown
Type: dry red
Production area: Toscana, Trequanda, Fattoria del Colle vineyards.
Vintage characteristics: Mild and rainy winter, spring so rainy to disturb the flowering and so reducing the number of clusters. For this reason there was no necessity to reduce the clusters. Early budding about 15 days earlier than usual. The veraison started around July 20th. August alternated very hot days with violent storms. September was calmer, with cool nights that permitted an excellent slow and gradual ripening of the grapes.
Grape types: 65% Sangiovese (Brunello), 35% Foglia Tonda.
Grape harvest: The grapes were handpicked choosing them cluster by cluster. The grapes were very sound, with a uniform ripening and small berries with grape-seeds perfectly lignified.
Vinification: fermentation in 80-100hl temperature controlled stainless steel vats for 15days.
Ageing: 12 months in 5 hl French oak tonneaux and in small barrels
Quantity produced: 10,000 bottles
Colour: intense, brilliant ruby red
Aroma: particularly fine, deep and complex. Hints of red berries, exotic fruits, and spices.
Taste: very harmonious and elegant. The tannic structure is velvety but promises a great longevity and is well balanced by the fruit. The pleasantness last at length in the mouth.
Serve with: may be served with important meats and aged cheeses. Avoid vinegar, raw onion and garlic, artichokes and asparagus,
Way of serving: Serve at room temperature (18-20 °C) in crystal balloon shaped wine goblets.
Home ageing: 10/20 years. Keep the bottles lying down in a cool dark place