The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Col d’Orcia and…Col d’Orcia!

Posted on | November 26, 2014 | Written by Robin Kelley OConnor | No Comments

Robin_B_8.6.14_72dpiThe Thanksgiving holiday is full on with the mad dash home. With a nor’easter moving into the greater New York area and Thanksgiving travel chaos up and down the East Coast, I suggest you let your mind wander into the positive and imagine sipping into a special glass of Italian red. My Thanksgiving holiday picks come from one of my favorite estates in all of Tuscany: Col d’Orcia: Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2008 and Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Poggio al Vento Riserva 2004. Col d’Orcia delivers Brunello di Montalcino with power and finesse, and the estate does it while invoking Montalcino terroir at a price/quality ratio. Col d’Orcia transposes Sangiovese Grosso into a work of liquid art.

Col d’Orcia is one Montalcino’s most historic estates, with winemaking dating back to the 1890s. The Cinzano family of Piemonte purchased the property in the 1970s, and the estate’s Poggio al Vento became one of the star cru Brunello Riservas of the region. In 2010 the whole estate—including the vineyards and olive groves—became officially certified organic, which makes Col d’Orcia the largest organic wine-producing estate in all of Tuscany.

Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2008 $ 44.99

The Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2008 is a direct translation of the estate’s traditional methods of production. The grapes are sourced from their south-southwest facing vineyards on a hill overlooking the Orica River at 1,000 feet above sea level. Col d’Orcia uses large Slovenian oak barrels to age the wine for three years before the wine goes into bottle. Once in bottle, the wine ages in the cellar for at least one year before release. A glowing dark ruby red, this wine has wonderful aromas of cherries, plums, and raspberries with lovely notes of spice. The powerful and finessed palate reveals telltale Col d’Orcia Brunello silky tannins; a wine with complexity and concentration, it’s loaded with fresh ripe red fruits with a long structured finish.

Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Poggio al Vento Riserva 2004 $99.99

Only made in exceptional years from the vineyards Sant’Angelo in Colle, which has a special limestone albarese soil, the estate’s Riserva is a beautiful thing. This lovely Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Poggio al Vento Riserva 2004 is a real jewel. All the essentials of what makes a great wine come harmoniously together: balance, fruit, tannins, acidity and alcohol. This ten-year-old beauty is just starting to show signs of maturity, exhibiting all the hallmark qualities of well-made Brunello di Montalcino, with hints of tertiary aromas and flavors. It has notes of dry cherries and raspberries, a touch of leather, tobacco, and it’s laden with nuances of Montalcino terroir. Showing a very long well-integrated finish, this is a wine for immediate indulgence and pleasure, yet it still has years and years of life ahead of it.

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