The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Col Vetoraz and Col d’Orcia

Posted on | May 12, 2015 | Written by Robin Kelley OConnor | No Comments

Robin_D_8.6.14_72dpiOn Thursday I depart for Venice to attend the 18th annual Vino in Villla in the Prosecco DOCG production zone of Conegliano Valdobbiadene. Hosted by the producers of the Consorzio Tutela del Vino of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore 32 miles north of the canal city, this area lies in the Veneto in the hilly strip of the Province of Treviso between the small towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. It is halfway from the Dolomites mountain range to the north and the Adriatic Sea to the south, and it offers a perfect climate for grape growing. The festival is as much about culture as it is learning about the history and inner workings of the beverage we know as Prosecco. On Sunday, the producers of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore will offer their wines for tasting in the Castle of San Salvatore at Susegana, a manor house dating back to the 12th century. I thought it appropriate to offer up one of my favorite Prosecco’s Col Vetoraz Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut 2013 DOCG.

My other DOCG pick is Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2009. One of my favorite estates in all of Tuscany, Cold’Orcia has long sat at the top of my list. What Co d’Orcia does better than anyone is deliver powerful, finessed Brunello di Montalcino that invokes its Montalcino terroir at a terrifc price/quality ratio. With winemaking dating back to the 1890s Col d’Orcia is one Montalcino’s most historic estates, and the Cinzano family purchased the property in the 1970s. In 2010 the whole estate became officially certified organic, which made Col d’Orcia the largest organic wine producing estate in all of Tuscany. Col d’Orcia is known for its adherence to traditional winemaking and the use of Slavonian oak barrels in the winemaking process. Under the watchful eye of Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, the Col d’Orcia estate has a modernist outlook with a respect and loyalty to tradition.

Col Vetoraz 2013 Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut $21.99

The color is a lovely day bright straw with a perlage of small tiny bubbles and an inviting mousse. The bouquet is alive with aromas of apricot, peaches and stone fruits with floral notes of acacia and rose pedals. On the palate, it has a gentle and supple entry with velvety smoothness; this dry and intense medium-bodied Prosecco combines its the flavors of white peach, ripe pear, and mango in graceful harmony and ends with a lovely long finish. Col Vetoraz Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut 2013 is produced with grapes grown in the high hills (Rive) facing west, ideal for reaching full maturity to produce this sparkling wine. Now that a touch of summer heat is upon us, there is nothing more refreshing than glasses of Prosecco.

Col d’Orcia 2009 Brunello di Montalcino $39.99

This wine has a beautiful bright ruby color, and the developing bouquet has aromas of red ripe fruits of cherry, red plums, loaded with spices, fresh herbs and a distinct expression of the terroir. The wine enters the palate full throttle with loads of rich fruit, balanced tannins, refreshing acidity, with a lovely, textural, silky mouth-feel. The finish is long with a lasting impression of harmony and elegance. The grapes for the Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2009 DOCG were grown on the estate’s hills overlooking the Orcia River with a South-Southwest exposure at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level on albarese soils using selected clones of the Sangiovese Grosso grape. This Col d’Orcia is delicious to drink now with a little decantation or aeration; however, a few more years of cellaring will multiply the rewards.

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