On the southern border of the Brunello di Montalcino region, Francesco Cinzano, the Count of Montalcino, sips his wine and overlooks his vineyards. Since purchasing the Col d’Orcia estate in 1973, the Cinzano family has made great strides in unlocking it’s potential. Acquired from the Franceschi family who had owned it for nearly a century, the Cinzanos brought focus to the traditional mixed farm. Wheat, tobacco, olives and grapes all grew on the property, but Francesco’s father chose to expand the plantings of vines to 70 hectares from the few that were already planted. In 1992 when Count Cinzano took over the property from his father he expanded further, now reaching 140 hectares of vines. With 108 hectares designated as Brunello, Col d’Orcia is the third largest owner of Brunello vineyards in the region. In 2010 the Count began the organic certification process, with 2013 being the first fully organically certified vintage. A proud moment. The estate now stands as an organic ‘island’ within the region of Brunello.
The 2017 vintage saw a heat wave and a drought, but as these factors lowered production, an August rainstorm and subsequent cool nights delivered very healthy grapes with considerable complexity in terms of aromas, with elegant tannins and excellent natural acidity. Intense and persistent flavours of wild berries, black cherry, and classic hints of savoury herbs, spice, and vanilla are carried through the palate, while ripe tannins add to the structure, lingering through the long finish. This wine should be decanted if drank in its youth, or cellared for continuing improvement over 10-15 years from the vintage date. An exception holiday gift for any wine enthusiast.