Thursday, April 30, 2015

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  • Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wines of Donatella Cinelli Colombini (Tuscany)



Wines of Donatella Cinelli Colombini
, I had the pleasure of meeting Donatella Cinelli Colombini and tasting 8 of her wines at the Fine Wine Reserve. Donatella is a petite woman, but strong, and someone that I get a sense is very determined back home in Tuscany.

The history of the Colombini family dates back to 1592, when Donatella's ancestors began building Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda, while also paying taxes for the cultivation of Casato in Montalcino. They lost the property in Trequenda in disputes, but it eventually returned back to the family three hundred years later due to the efforts of Donatella's great-grandfather. Meanwhile, the Montalcino estate was always handed down, mostly from mother to daughter, and was eventually was handed over to Donatella. Later on, Donatella was appointed by her father to manage Fattoria del Colle.

Winemaking excellence began in the Colombini family in 1790, when Fattoria dei Barbi was founded. The heritage of Barbi continues on the labels of Dontella's wines with the (angled) shield on every wine. Furthermore, the Leono Rosso wine has a rampant lion on the label - this lion was the symbol of Donatella Cinelli Colombini's ancestors. Also found on the labels is a large white dove that appears to be flying away from the shield - this represents Donatella who is "fleeing the coop" so-to-speak from her ancestral roots.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Donatella has run the two estates since 1998 and has changed them dramatically by combining modern technology with tradition. Donatella has been a major force in the world of Italian wine, including conceptualizing "Cantine Aperte" - a nationwide day for winemakers to welcome visitors. She also salvaged the ancient Sienese rootstock "Foglia Tonda", a grape who's total acreage is apparently only 40 hectares worldwide, and now grown with much enthusiasm at Donatella's Fattoria del Colle estate in the relatively new DOC Orcia (inaugurated only in the year 2000.)

Casato Prime Donne winery was the first all-female winery in Italy, proving that producing great wines does not rely on gender, but on intelligence and spirit. Recently joining the team is world famous oenologist Valerie Lavigne. Hailing from Bordeaux, Valerie works on a team that consults with Chateau Marguax, Chateau d'Yquem, and Cheval Blanc. The only Italian winery that Valerie consults with is Donatella Cinelli Colombini.

All of these delicious wines are available through the winery's agent Le Sommelier via Consignment, except for the 2008 Brunello (which available via Private Order). Furthermore, at the time of this writing, there are a dozen bottles of the Brunello Riserva available in VINTAGES.

Tasting Notes:
2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Leone Rosso from DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (88+ pts)2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Cenerentola from DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (87 pts)2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Il Drago e le 8 Colombe from IGT Toscana, Italy (90+ pts)

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI LEONE ROSSO 2010 - DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $20.95
Blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot. Medium+ intensity aromas with a musky, matchstick, and smoke nose with underlying red cherry and berry notes.. It's fairly light-weighted with fresh acidity and fruit-forward flavours of red cherry, currant and red berries. Matured 18 months in French oak, the tannins are well-integrated. Finish is medium-length with subtle oak spice notes. Made in a very approachable style. Score: 88+ pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI CENERENTOLA 2010 - DOC Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $42.95
Blend of 65% Sangiovese and 35% of the relativey rare Foglia Tonda. Nose seemed somewhat closed but showed elegant florals and cherries. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with oak spice, red and black cherry, blackberry and leather notes. Medium level of tannins with integrated oak and balanced acids. Spice elements come to the fore on the mid-palate, while the finish is medium-long with currant flavours. This will pair well with bigger meat dishes. Score 87 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE 2010 - IGT Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $31.95
First vintage for winemaker Valerie Lavigne and contains 60% Sangiovese Grosso, 20% Merlot and 20% Sagrantino. Elegant flowers, dark cherry, tar, mineral, and spice scented nose with very nice aroma replays on the juicy palate. It's medium-to-full bodied with grippy tannins and fresh, vibrant acids. Well-balanced and lengthy finish. Could be cellared up to 5-6 years. Score: 90+ pts

2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (90 pts)2008 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)2007 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $63.95
Medium intensity aromas featuring smoke, cherry, underbrush, blackberry and floral notes. Medium-bodied, lush mouthfeel on the palate with black cherry, plum, sweet spice and subtle oak flavours. It has fresh acids and firm tannins that are integrating nicely. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 90 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2008 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $63.95
Highly aromatic with tobacco, leather, earth, and red fruits in a savoury, elegant style. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with integrated tannins, slightly chalky mouthfeel, and pleasing aroma replays. This is a well-balanced wine with balanced acids, good structure and clean, long finish. Score: 92 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#113357) (XD) - $63.95
Elegant, savoury aromas of barnyard, earth and red fruits of high intensity. Medium-bodied palate with nice aroma replays and subtle sweet spice notes. It is well-balanced with tannins integrating very nicely. It has very good structure, mouth-watering acids, and a very long finish. Score: 91 pts

2010 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino "Prime Donne" from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (92 pts)2007 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino Riserva from DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (91 pts)

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO PRIME DONNE 2010 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#) (XD) - $79.95
Medium-to-high aromatics with subtle tobacco, earth, black cherry, and smoked hickory notes. On the medium-to-full bodied palate, it displays a savoury, earthy profile with sweet oak spice, tobacco, cherry to keep things interesting. It is well-structured with mouth-watering acids and good balance overall. Drying tannins on woodsy, lengthy finish. Enjoyable now, but I would age this a couple of years. Score: 92 pts

DONATELLA CINELLI COLOMBINI BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RISERVA 2007 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#107508) (XD) - $97.00
Aged 3.5 years in oak barrels. Highly aromatic nose featuring florals, plum, red cherry, sweet spice and hints of barnyard and earth. It's medium+ bodied on the palate with pleasing floral, red & black cherry and blackberry flavours with fresh, mouth-watering acids. Finish length is excellent. Has good structure, but tannins are still a bit tight - would cellar 3-4 years. Score: 91 pts


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