2011 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino

SKU #1258303 93 points James Suckling

 Pretty balance to this 2011 with a solid core of cherry and raspberry fruit. Firm and silky tannins. Rich and flavorful finish. Really excellent. Drink or hold.  (2/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The new year has started off with a bang for Donatella Cinelli Colombini. Her 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is an articulate and generous red that is endowed with thick layers of dark fruit, plum, cassis, sweet spice and moist chewing tobacco. This estate definitely presents a modern style of Brunello, but this expression shows less obvious oak compared to the wines made five years ago or more. The house style continues to show a slow evolution that puts emphasis on elegance and purity. Having said that, this Brunello also offers the immediate qualities needed for near-term consumption. You can drink it relatively soon or hold off altogether. This wine could go either way. (ML)  (3/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Expressive, with a dose of oak spice and wood tannins lifting the cherry and strawberry fruit. Leather, tobacco and spice accents abound as this cascades into a long, multilayered aftertaste. (BS)  (6/2016)

91 points Vinous

 The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is plump and juicy, with plenty of the textural resonance and openness that is such a signature of the year. Open-knit and juicy, the 2011 is already quite expressive. As always, the house style favors a forward expression of fruit, which is exactly what readers will find here. Succulent dark cherry, plum, mocha, spice and new leather meld into the supple, inviting finish. This is an absolutely delicious, early drinking Brunello from Donatella Cinelli Colombini. (AG)  (2/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Wild-berry, truffle, leather, menthol and sunbaked soil aromas lead the way. Tightly wound but ripe tannins wrap around the firmly structured palate, underscoring mature Morello cherry, black raspberry, white pepper, licorice and chopped Mediterranean herb. A subtle hint of game closes the finish. (KO)  (5/2016)

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Price: $54.99
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- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.