Colombini Brunello di Montalcino 2017
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PRODUCER: The roots of the Colombini family in Tuscany go back to 1592, and their tradition of excellence in winemaking began in 1790 with the founding of the Fattoria dei Barbi. It was in the 1960’s that Francesca Cinelli Colombini made a name for herself as the stalwart leader of Barbi’s top notch production, and when the next generation came into the spotlight her son Stefano took over the family estate while daughter Donatella branched off to create the neighbouring Azienda del Casato. Donatella is a major force in the world of quality Italian wine and has spurred important advances in enotourism. With 50 hectares total, 13 of which are dedicated to viticulture, Donatella creates a classic Brunello as well as a Riserva and a Rosso di Montalcino; she also runs the Azienda del Colle at Trequanda, where she produces Chianti Classico Superiore, Orcia, Vin Santo, and a Super Tuscan. Her most innovative creation, though, is Casato’s Brunello ‘Prime Donne,’ a wine designed by an all-female team of respected wine experts who based their decisions on instinct and organoleptic observations. Donatella, who is grooming her daughter Violante as heir to the business, appointed Valérie Lavigne as winemaker in 2010 thus completing the first all female team at an Italian winery.
WINEMAKING: The harvest date is chosen based on tasting the grapes, so the vineyard can be divided into sections that will be picked on the exact day of perfect ripening. The clusters are chosen in the vineyard and again in the cellar where the berries get chosen on a sorting table so that only the best quality reaches the fermentation vats. Fermentation takes place in small stainless steel or bare concrete tanks, open on top, and with a mechanical system for punching the cap that allows the immersion of the skins without the use of pumps. For this project the “Tinaia del Vento” (windy fermentation hall) was constructed with its 8 small fermentation tanks just a few metres distant from the vineyard. To use yeasts form Montalcino is very important to preserve the identity of the territory. The ageing in oak for the future Brunello takes place in tonneaux and successively in big barrels. The smaller containers come from small French artisan that use only oak seasoned for 24-36 months and cut along the grain. Barrels made “to measure” coming from 5 different artisan-like factories so as to permit finding the perfect equilibrium with the wine. The Brunello di Montalcino stays in barrel at least 2 years but often this ageing lasts practically three years using also the big traditional barrel from the region. After a period of at least 6 months in bottles, stored in temperature controlled storerooms, the Brunello gets sold in 34 nations around the world.
TASTING NOTES: The ‘Brunello’ clone of Sangiovese, which grows in the hills of Montalcino, near Siena, produces Tuscany’s most intense and famed red wine. It expresses a powerful, assertive character, complex with mineral, leather, truffle and orange peel nuances. This fantastic wine is robust with good concentration and complexity. Rich and velvety in the mouth with ripe tannins and a full bodied palate which leads into a long and lasting finish.