Notes on recent releases of Fattoria dei Barbi’s Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Fiore by Stefano Cinelli Colombini.
The wine: The Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Fiore comes from one of the southernmost slopes of Montalcino, a parcel where my family has paid taxes on the vines for more than four centuries. The soil is stony, dry, and poor in nutrients, making for extremely elegant and refined Sangiovese. Don’t expect excess in this Brunello: Its name has always been synonymous with elegance.
The 2011 vintage: The winter was marked by alternating periods of intense cold and milder temperatures. The spring was rainy with low temperatures. The summer began with cool, rainy days. But during the second part of the summer, there were very high temperatures and heavy humidity until picking was completed.
The 2010 vintage: The spring and the beginning of summer were rainy and marked by temperatures that were lower than usual. The rains during flowering hampered fruit set and as a result, the yield was reduced as well. The hot, well-ventilated, and dry weather that arrived in August created ideal conditions for ripening.
The 2008 harvest: The climatic progression was very favorable to the vegetative development of the vines. The spring was colder than usual and it slowed the budding of the plants. A warm and dry summer, with rains between the end of August and the beginning of September, allowed the plants to reach excellent ripeness from both a technical and phenolic point of view.
The 2007 vintage: A vintage considered to be exceptional, marked by a mild winter and a rainy spring followed by a warm and dry summer that allowed the grapes to reach perfect phenolic ripeness and great complexity and richness in aroma.
The 2006 vintage: Considered to be an exceptional vintage in which the grapes reached perfect phenolic ripeness and the wines achieved excellent richness and complexity in their aromas.
The 2005 Vintage: Low temperatures at the end of the winter and a cool and sunny spring caused a delay in the vegetative development of the vines. The first part of summer was dry and hot, followed by rainfall and a drop in temperatures. The diurnal shifts in temperature were ideal for creating the perfect balance of sugars and acidity and an excellent concentration of color and dry extract.
The 2004 vintage: Not such a heavy winter and a relatively rainy spring were favorable to the vegetative development of the vines. Sunny and warm summer with intermittent light rainfall. The diurnal shifts during September were higher than usual and this led to perfect phenolic ripening.