Richard Baudains is one of the foremost experts on the wines of Italy. Here’s what he had to say in the current issue of Decanter about Fattoria dei Barbi, one of his “top 10” producers in Montalcino.
There are three excellent reasons for a visit to Fattoria dei Barbi. One is to taste the wines, and especially the rare old vintages; another is to tuck into a hearty Tuscan dish at the farm restaurant; and the third is to listen to Stefano Cinelli Colombini’s anecdotes from a family history which goes back to the Middle Ages.
The Colombinis have owned land at Montalcino since 1352. They acquired the Fattoria dei Barbi in the late 18th century and started producing Brunello in 1892, just four years after Biondi Santi.
The Fattoria is an institution in Montalcino, but in the past its wines lacked lustre. Cinelli Colombini has brought the production back up to scratch. The Fattoria dei Barbi blue-label Brunello is a benchmark for the denomination; highly consistent, approachable when young but capable of ageing, classic in its aromas and Sangiovese grip. The Vigna del Fiore single-vineyard selection has a suave elegance, which again belies its ageing potential. The red-label Brunello Riserva, produced only in exceptional vintages, has provided me with some of my most memorable tasting experiences in Montalcino.
Tasted for this article:
Fattoria dei Barbi 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Baudains piece isn’t available yet online. We will post a link as soon as its published on the Decanter website.