Le Sommelier presents a special Brunello from Donatella Cinelli Colombini…
Donatella Cinelli Colombini left her family’s estate in 1998 to start her own, made up of Casato in Montalcino, and Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda. Along with the vineyards and with the farmhouses to be renovated, Donatella received a quantity of Brunello di Montalcino, and needed a cellar master to oversee its aging. She called the Enology School in Siena, asking for a good student to hire. They answered that they had none; cellar masters had to be booked years in advance. They mentioned, however, that they had many female cellar masters available, since no important winery wanted to employ them.
Project Prime Donne was born.
Montalcino’s Casato Prime Donne is a Brunello winery. The property is made up of 40 hectares, 16 of which are planted to Sangiovese. There is also a modern, artistic, fresco-filled winery and ageing facility, surrounded by vineyards. Donatella didn’t just hire a woman cellar master for the project. The entire staff of the winery is female, and Donatella has become a beacon for women in the wine industry, not only in Italy, but globally.
The project grows more meaningful with her Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne. Donatella noticed that wine critics for the Italian wine guides were all men. She decided then to unite a small group of talented women wine professionals, asking them to blind taste future Brunello from different barrels, and to select the best lots. Every year since its inception, Rosemary George MW, German wine expert Astrid Schwarz, Italian sommelier and teacher Daniela Scrobogna, and Italo-American PR Marina Thompson gather to taste for the blend, choose the barrels, and determine the aging regime for that vintage.
We are very proud to represent this special wine, and share Donatella’s project, with you.
Please click HERE to purchase this wine by the bottle.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Prime Donne 2013
For the Brunello Prime Donne 2013, the Sangiovese, primarily from the Ardita Vineyard surrounding the winery, was handpicked and fermented on skins for 15 days in truncated open-top cone vats. It was then moved to 7hl French tonneaux, before finishing in traditional 15-40hL oak barrels from Slavonia for 2.5 years. Prior to being bottled, unfiltered, the wine rested in naked concrete vats. Prime Donne is a powerful Brunello destined for a long ageing. Only 6,300 bottles produced.
Grape: 100% Sangiovese
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Price: $95.00 (per 750 mL bottle)
”I love the way this wine has absorbed and reflects the sunny and warm personality of its maker, the brilliant Donatella Cinelli Colombini. The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne has her spirit and her vision, and I recognize that as I taste through these samples. Her distinctive winemaking mark is achieved with botte and tonneaux aging, and her style is definitely fuller and more generous than most. It’s a modern Brunello, if you care to categorize wines in this way. Only 6,660 bottles were produced. The vineyards are exposed to wider horizons that make for more light hours each day (from dawn to sunset) of the growing cycle. I’m on team Donatella.” 95 points – Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, February 2018
“Fragrant and elegant, this offers lovely scents of pressed blue flower and an earthy whiff of new leather. The savory refined palate delivers ripe red cherry, cranberry, star anise, orange zest and crushed herb alongside polished, fine-grained tannins. It’s nicely balanced, with bright acidity. Drink 2024–2033.” 95 points – Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, May 2018
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