Grape(s): Sangiovese, Canaiolo
Localization: Tuscany, Italy
Tasting Notes: Fine and rich, showing the grape fragrances together with more evolved elements such as ripe red berries and violets typical in a Chianti. Harmonious thanks to the excellent balance between tannins and fruit. In the mouth, it is full, round, warm, with good persistence.
The Domain: Donatella Cinelli Colombini owns two wineries, one in Montalcino and one in Trequanda in the Chianti and DOC Orcia regions. Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino is a property of 40 hectares of which 16 hectares include Sangiovese vineyards and the winery and cellar.
At Donatella Cinelli Colombini, all the vintners are women, which is a unique situation in Italy and a beacon of progress for women in the wine business in general. Donatella herself was approached by the EU to research the use of native yeast strains in Montalcino. As a result of her work, these local yeasts are now used in the winemaking process at Donatella Cinelli Colombini and are available to use throughout Montalcino.
In the vineyard, Donatella Cinelli Colombini has been cultivating her grapes with organic methods since 2014. In addition, she has made some recent upgrades at the winery including the use of cement tanks for fermentation. Instead of barriques in the cellar, Donatella Cinelli Colombini chooses to age her Brunelli for at least two years in 500-litre tonneaux and then decants the wine into 15hl casks for further aging. Finally the wine will rest in bottle, which is essential for developing aromatic fullness. The distinctive element of Donatella's wines is their elegance.
Donatella's wines have been widely praised by the press, especially in recent vintages. In 2016, she was one of four Brunello producers chosen to present at Wine Spectator's New York Wine Experience and in the same year Merano Wine Festival gave gold medals to the 2012 vintage of both Donatella's Brunello and Brunello Progetto Prime Donne.