One thing that’s great about wine tasting events is that, sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to meet someone who’s actually involved in making the wine. That happened to be the case back in October 2014 when Violante Gardini of Donatella Cinelli Colombini came to visit a local wine shop, and we were fortunate enough to get to meet with her about her family’s wines. And what a treat it was! Violante is an absolute delight.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s winemaking operation was started by Violante’s mother, Donatella Cinelli Colombini, in 2001. The grapes are grown on land that belonged to Donatella’s ancestors back in 1592, then was lost for 300 years until Donatella’s great-grandfather bought it back up in 1919. The estate has been passed down from generation to generation—from mother to daughter—ever since (meaning that someday, Violante will be in charge).
The 2011 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Rosso di Montalcino that we purchased at the tasting event is produced at Donatella’s Casato Prime Donne estate, which has 40 acres of vines. At this estate, all the winemakers are women, a pretty unusual occurrence in Italy. The Rosso di Montalcino is 100% Sangiovese (as the majority of Montalcino wines are), and is aged for one year in oak.
Our Tasting Notes: Bright, deep ruby red in color with a slight orange hue. Nose is youthful with slight intensity, with notes of cooked cherry, blueberry, blackberry, plum, pomegranate, strawberry, dried Italian herbs, molasses, compost, wet granite, vanilla, and coconut. Dry on the palate with medium+ body and notes of black cherry, blackberry, cranberry, pomegranate, fig, Kalamata olive, rosemary, leather, black tea, chive, menthol, and wet granite. Medium complexity, medium+ tannin, and medium+ finish. Tastes like a new world GSM rather than Sangiovese, but a good wine nonetheless.
Overall, this is a good wine that has been extremely popular around Denver, but there a lot of great Rosso wines out there for about half the price (this one is about $30). However, we love the family history of this estate, and we very much enjoyed conversing with Violante about her family’s wine, and for that reason we will likely try another wine from Donatella Cinelli Colombini again. Ah, how we wish we’d, too, had been raised at a winery.