2012 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Fattoria del Colle Il Drago e Le Otto Colombe Toscana IGT, Italy
Il Drago e Le Otto Colombe = The Dragon and the 8 Doves
Fattoria del Colle is one of the two wineries owned by Donatella Cinelli Colombini in the hills near the Chianti area of Tuscany.
To run her wineries, Donatella has assembled a team composed exclusively of women, 8 of them in fact.
With this context in mind, this is how Cinelli Colombini’s website explains the name of the wine we’re tasting today:
“This wine highlights the male component of the winery belonging to Donatella Cinelli Colombini, a winery where the “weaker sex” is protagonist in the winemaking.
The 8 doves in the name and on the label represent the female staff, while the dragon corresponds to Carlo Gardini, Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s husband.”
The wine comes under the Toscana IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) which is the one used for Tuscan wines that generally include solid proportion of non-Tuscan grape varieties.
The Dragon and the 8 Doves is a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 20% Sagrantino.
Sangiovese is obviously Tuscan. Merlot is of French origin but now realitvely common in Tuscany.
Sagrantino however, is rarely seen in the area. It’s a variety from the Umbria region, just South of Tuscany in the centre of the country.
So how good is this 2012 ‘Drago e Le Otto Colombe’ wine?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
With a deep dark red color, the nose is smoky and oaky. Aromas of smoke surround intense notes of vanilla, dark cocoa, and cherry and prune liqueur (if that existed, but you get the idea, super-ripe fruit notes with some warmth from the alcohol).
It’s like smelling a fragrant jam and dark chocolate pie in a pizzeria where the wood fire oven has filled the air with smoky notes. Rather appealing, but more importantly, pretty intense aromatically.
Put the wine in your mouth, and this first impression of intensity and power is actually unbelievably multiplied by 10 and goes boxing your palate with flavors, body, and tannins frantically.
OMG it’s surprisingly powerful!!
But let’s elaborate… You get the rather granulous tannic texture typical of the ripe and rich Sangiovese, as well as its typical sour cherry slightly vegetal notes.
But the Merlot seems to have brought its coating and full-bodied influence covering the dryness with an oily and almost sweet prune-liqueur-like (again) richness. Not sure what’s the Sagrantino’s contribution there.
Flavors are bursting in jammy ripe fruits, melted in oaky vanilla, caramel, and toffee decadence.
A layered wine to be discovered with time, taking the time to explore each sensation one after the other. More importantly, taking the time to be surprised by its concentration and intensity.
Like a good Super-Tuscan ought to in a way, it combines the best of both worlds.
Some rusticity and authenticity from the local old-world varieties pushed to a high level of maturity. It’s hearty, earthy, irony, and somehow sour and savory.
But also filled with a more new-world richness from the French grapes in a favorable warm environment, Merlot here in this instance.
The whole is jammy and oaky, but also layered with depth and complexity.
A wine to experience…
Wine & Food Pairing
Try the wine on its own first to get the most of its richness.
Then match with tasty modern and sophisticated foods.
We suggest you try this perfect matching recipe by Sommelier Francois Chartier: Sandwich of Duck Confit, Nigella and Arugula