Every year Benvenuto Brunello celebrations come to New York City releasing the lastest vintage of Brunello de Montalcino. This year the pandemic restricted the event, so Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, the estate owner of Col D’Orcia decided to offer a taste of his cellars and the new Brunello vintage to select journalists in our homes.
Col d’Orcia – Certified Organic
Col d’Orcia is one of the original estates of Montalcino and now the largest certified organic estate in Tuscany. The estate has a long and rich history that dates back to the 1700s. Located on the outskirts of the medieval village of Montalcino, Col d’Orcia’s name translates to “the hill overlooking the Orcia River,” due to its position in the undulating hills between the Orcia River and Sant’Angelo in Colle.
The Cinzano family of Piedmont purchased the property in 1973 and today is run by very passionate and charismatic Count Francesco Marone Cinzano. His mission is to produce the best wines from the hills of Montalcino. Under his leadership, plantings have expanded exponentially at Col d’Orcia and the estate has been transformed into an organic farm.
The estate is located in a very special area of Montalcino in a natural park that is a UNESCO site. The entire estate includes vineyards, gardens, olive groves, tobacco and wheat fields, which are all farmed following exclusively organic agricultural practices. The Count is a champion of biodiversity and 10 years ago, he decides to transform Col d’Orcia into a fully organic farm. He is passionately dedicated to protecting this very special environment for future generations.
The symbols on the label have three rows of hills, which the Count says, “the hills represent their link to the land and the fact that we are farmers. At Col d’Orcia, we are not winemakers, we are farmers and we grow grapes. The wines are a consequence of the grapes we pick.” The hand pointing at the star is an indication of their search for excellence, and their quest for quality in their daily endeavors.
Col d’Orcia – Unique Terroir
Col d’Orcia lies on the southern slope of Montalcino, within the Orcia Valley. The Tyrrhenian sea to the west moderates the climate and provides refreshing breezes, which wicks away moisture in the air. The terroir is a very special soil, of clay and sand comprised of different geological times. The soils have high-level limestone which is an essential element for Sangiovese.
At The Forefront Of Research And Development
Research and development is at forefront of the estate. Every year, students from the University of Florence and the University of Pisa come to Cold’Orcia to study and assist in the harvest. The Count says, “Brunello Di Montalcino is the fruit of a magic formula, which is made from pure Sangiovese.” In collaboration with the University of Florence, they have produced clonal selections of Sangiovese, and these clones are available to all the producers of the area.
The Captivating Wines of Col d’Orcia
Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016
2016 is a stellar vintage for Brunello di Montalcino which is clearly expressed in the bottle. Still very young, the wine is a bit tight on opening. With about a 1/2 hour of decanting the wine opens up with complex aromas. On the nose, there are notes of red fruit, vanilla and spice. On the palate, the wine is fresh, crisp and fruity with bright acidity that is characteristic of Brunellos. The wine has excellent structure and complexity with firm tannins. A beautiful wine that will evolve gracefully with time in the bottle.
Col d’Orcia Poggio Al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2013
The Poggio Al Vento vineyards were planted in 1974 on a hill overlooking the Orcia River at an elevation of 350 meters above sea level. The Poggio Vento hill is one of the closest areas in Montalcino to the Meditteranean Coast, and is an area most influenced by the sea winds, Poggio al Vento – meaning “windy hill”. The wines are of exceptional quality and only produced in the best vintages in limited production. This wine represents the essence of Brunello di Montalcino with its capacity to age.
The wine is aged three years in Slavonian oak barrels and three years refinement in bottle. The aromas are expressive and intense with notes of currants, raspberry, cocoa and spice. The purity of fruit on the palate is unmistakable with notes of raspberries, blackberries, rosemary pepper and tobacco. The tannins are firm and well structured. The wine exhibits power, elegance and finesses all at the same time.
Col d’Orcia Olmaia Cabernet Sauvignon Sant’Antimo DOC 2015
Olmaia is dedicated to the innovative spirit and vision of Count Alberto Marone Cinzano, Count Francesco’s father when he planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the early 1980s on the hills of Montalcino. Olma means Elm tree, Olmaia is the wood of Elm trees, which was discovered on the vineyard site.
The wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in new French oak barriques and a small portion in American barrels, followed by a further 8 months refinement in bottle. There are wonderful notes of pepper and blackberries, perfectly balanced with the spicy vanilla-flowered notes from the oak. This is a full-bodied Cabernet that structured and elegant.
Col d’Orcia – Handcrafted Wines
The Count is passionate and tirelessly dedicated to promoting Montalcino and the wines of Col d’Orcia. Attention to detail is important at every step to deliver wines of the highest quality. The wines of Col d’Orcia are superbly handcrafted wines. The combination of terroir, soil, unique positioning of vineyards and biodynamic farming all translate into incredible Brunellos from the Col d’Orcia. The wines of Col d’Orcia will captivate all Brunello lovers.