Cenerentola = Cinderella
This wine made by Donatella Cinelli Colombini at their Fattoria delle Colle winery is called ‘Cenerentolla’ which is Italian for the fairy tale character Cinderella.
It is made under the Orcia Doc (Denominazione di Origine Controlatta), a Tuscan appellation created in 2000 i located in between the Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano areas.
But why is it called Cenerentola, or Cinderella?
This is how the producer explains it:
“There are similarities between the wine and the young woman in the fairy tale: both have two stepsisters, more famous and richer than them, and in the case of the Cenerentola DOC Orcia they are two neighbouring wine regions for the Brunello and Nobile wines.”
The wine is a blend of 65% Sangiovese with 35% Foglia Tonda grapes (an old autochthonous variety that was abandoned about a century ago but still cultivated on the Fattoria delle Colle estate).
It was matured for 1 year in oak barrels.
So how good is Cenerentola?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
The wine is of a dark color, but you can see through well with light. So not too dense in appearance.
Wonder your nose over the glass, without even swirling the wine, and the aromas jump out of the glass to hit your senses.
It smells powerful: meaty, herbal, savory.
Indeed, the first nose is clearly dominated by savory tones of fresh meat. It’s bloody I’m tempted to say, with a mineral irony feel to it.
But this meat is marinating in aromatic herbs like they’ve been freshly picked from the Tuscan hills: thyme, rosemary, laurel. Someone must have cracked some black pepper (or is it green?) on it too as it smells very very spicy. You can nearly feel the pepper, perhaps chili even, teasing your nose with its burning feel. I guess there’s some onion in this marinade too!
The palate follows through the nose’s impressions. It’s a bursting explosion of intense and concentrated savory flavors. The meat seems more like it’s been roasted here, coated in thick, burnt and smoky aromatic herbs.
Fruity notes are very shy at this stage. One perceives a little of the sour cherry notes that are typical of the Sangiovese grape. But they are discrete on the background.
Tannins are pungent, but not aggressive. They’re granular, drying, but not green or belligerent. They’re just big, ripe, and strong.
Mid-body, with a long and rather warming finish.
A breathtaking wine that surprises, and eventually amazes (once the surprise has faded away) by its sheer concentration of savory flavors.
Sophisticated, and somehow much enjoyable, with bursting Sangiovese rusticity and austerity. A Tuscan paradox of a wine.
A wine to pair with rich meaty dishes. A wine will stand tall against any tasty dish regardless of its aromatic intensity, which is not a common quality found in wine. It has so much aromatic power.
It feels like it needs a playmate though, in a food form, to be complete, temper it down and civilize it.