Wine Culture and Information - Volume 13
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  Wine Producers Issue 25, December 2004   
Fattoria dei BarbiFattoria dei Barbi Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Fattoria dei Barbi

Between tradition and innovation, in Montalcino, heart of Brunello, Fattoria dei Barbi joins more than 200 years of history to the most advanced wine making technologies

 One of the most famous sons of Montalcino - the enchanting Tuscan town in the province of Siena - certainly is Brunello, not only the name with which is locally called Sangiovese Grosso grape, but also - and first of all - a wine, one of the most renowned and looked for wines of Italy. Brunello di Montalcino is also that wine which contributed during the past century to the success of Italian enology in the world and to the affirmation of its quality: a success that continues still today despite its more than one hundred years of history. Among the historical wineries which contributed to the success and the affirmation of Brunello di Montalcino there is Fattoria dei Barbi, a prestigious name of Tuscan enology which sets its ancient roots in 1790 and established by Colombini family, which already owned estates in Montalcino since 1352.


Fattoria dei Barbi and Brunello
di Montalcino: vintages from 1957 to 1996
Fattoria dei Barbi and Brunello di Montalcino: vintages from 1957 to 1996

 In 1790 Colombini family acquired the now famous Fattoria dei Barbi and since those times they scrupulously committed to viticulture and wine making. In 1840 a Fattoria dei Barbi's Brunello di Montalcino is awarded at an exposition in Bordeaux: it will be the first of a long series of awards conferred both in Italy and abroad. The commitment and efforts of Fattoria dei Barbi in the viticulture and wine is witnessed by an exclusive collection of bottles of Vinsanto and Brunello di Montalcino of which the most ancient exemplars are dated back to 1870 until nowadays. Fattoria dei Barbi has also achieved some interesting records, including the first sale of wine by mail (1936) and, in 1962, the first export of Brunello di Montalcino in Europe and America, the production, in 1974, of the first grappa of Brunello.

 After more than 210 years of history, Fattoria dei Barbi is still today one of the most known and appreciated producers of Brunello di Montalcino, as well as other wines such as Rosso di Montalcino, Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, Vinsanto and some IGTs such as Brusco dei Barbi and Birbone Toscano. Fattoria dei Barbi also produces olive oil, cheese and cured meat, it owns an agritouristic business and the restaurant “La Taverna dei Barbi” where can be tasted and appreciated the typical cooking of Tuscany and its wines. Today Fattoria dei Barbi occupies an area of 370 hectares (914 acres), of which more than 90 (222 acres) used for the cultivation of the vine and the rest used for olive trees, woods and fields. The average density of vineyards is of more than 4500 plants per hectare. Most of the estate is located in the commune of Montalcino, whereas in Scansano the property occupies an area of 50 hectares (123 acres). Fattoria dei Barbi owns two wineries, one at Montalcino and the other at Scansano, in which are found more than 200 casks, 200 barriques and 120 steel and concrete tanks, with a total capacity of 20,000 hectoliters (about 528,000 gallons). The yearly production of Fattoria dei Barbi is of about 800,000 bottles, of which one third is Brunello di Montalcino.


The aging cellar
The aging cellar

 Today Fattoria dei Barbi is run by Stefano Cinelli Colombini, descendant of the ancient family from Siena and owners since 1790, whose interest for technological innovation has allowed the ancient winery to achieve further progresses. Since he started working for Fattoria dei Barbi in 1981, Stefano Cinelli Colombini has increased the acreage destined to vineyards from 22 hectares (54 acres) to the current 110 (271 acres). In order to accomplish the goal of improving the quality while respecting tradition, he conducted researches in Montalcino's vineyards and in the most advanced techniques. The results obtained in more than twenty years of research on the density of vineyards and on viticulture - besides 200 years of researches done by the family - are available at Fattoria dei Barbi. The interest of Stefano Cinelli Colombini for technology allowed him to create - with the collaboration of University of Siena and Madrid - the first electronic nose for wine analysis, as well as an innovative biosensors system for grape analysis in collaboration with University of Pisa and Tor Vergata (Rome).

 In the spirit of joining technology and tradition, Stefano Cinelli Colombini is studying in collaboration with the University of Pisa, a system that can recreate the optimal conditions for harvesting, the one typical at the end of October with grapes and cellars colder than the current average conditions. The result is represented by the PMF project (Pre-Macerazione a Freddo, Cold Pre-Maceration) in 2001, with which it is possible to obtain a Brunello with more polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins, even twice the normal quantities, while allowing at the same time to keep the typical characteristics, flavors and aromas of Sangiovese di Montalcino. This system allows the enrichment of Brunello without alteration. Stefano Cinelli Colombini's passion for this famous wine has led him to establish the Museo della Comunità di Montalcino e del Brunello (Museum of Montalcino's community and Brunello), a non profit foundation which occupies an area of 1,000 square meters (1,195 square yards) and having the goal of spreading the history of Brunello and the culture which created it.


 

 The work of Stefano Cinelli Colombini is also tangible in the commercial aspects of the winery. During his 25 years of work, Fattoria dei Barbi has increased its market quotes by increasing the production from 220,000 bottles in 1981 to the current 800,000 and a total income of ten millions and a half of euros. Fattoria dei Barbi's wines are currently exported in many countries of the world, including United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada. In 1997 was acquired Fattoria del Vivaio at Scansano and today it occupies an area of 104 hectares (256 acres) of which thirty destined to vineyards, a cellar and a wonderful villa facing towards the Argentario. The current production of Fattoria dei Barbi is thus divided: about 220,000 bottles of Brunello, 100,000 of Rosso di Montalcino, 60,000 of Morellino di Scansano and the rest of Chianti and Tuscan IGTs. Fattoria dei Barbi has always believed in low yields per plants: the average density of vines is 5,200 per hectare allowing a production of less than 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) per vine, equal to one bottle and a half per plant. Qualitative selection is very scrupulous: less than 60% of Fattoria dei Barbi's potential production is bottled as Brunello di Montalcino whereas the rest is declassed as Rosso di Montalcino.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Brusco dei Barbi 2003, Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Brusco dei Barbi 2003
Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 4,90 Score:   Good value wine
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean and pleasing aromas which start with hints of black cherry and plum followed by aromas of cyclamen, raspberry, violet and blueberry. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and pleasing crispness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and black cherry. Brusco dei Barbi ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Cold cuts, Broiled meat and barbecue, Sauteed meat



Rosso di Montalcino 2002, Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Rosso di Montalcino 2002
Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 9,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of cyclamen, blackberry, licorice, carob, vanilla and hints of hay. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry.
Food Match: Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat, Stewed meat



Morellino di Scansano Vivaio dei Barbi 2001, Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Morellino di Scansano Vivaio dei Barbi 2001
Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 8,70 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of cherry and raspberry followed by aromas of blueberry, cyclamen, plum, violet and licorice. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, good tannins, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. This wine ages for 9 months in cask followed by more than 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat, Hard cheese



Brunello di Montalcino 1999, Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino 1999
Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 21,00 Score:
This Brunello shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry and dried violet followed by aromas of raspberry, blueberry, plum, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, carob, cinnamon and mace. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum and black cherry. A well made wine. This Brunello di Montalcino ages for 2 years in cask followed by more than 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese



Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Fiore 1998, Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Fiore 1998
Fattoria dei Barbi (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 34,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Brunello shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of plum jam and black cherry jam followed by aromas of blueberry jam, dried violet, vanilla, chocolate, licorice, tobacco, thyme and camphor. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum jam and black cherry jam. A well made wine. This Brunello di Montalcino ages for 2 years in cask followed by more than 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese



Fattoria dei Barbi - Località Podernuovi - 53024 Montalcino, Siena (Italy) - Tel. +39 577 841111 Fax. +39 577 841112 - Winemaker: Paolo Salvi - Established: 1790 - Production: 800.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@fattoriadeibarbi.it - WEB: www.fattoriadeibarbi.it


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  Wine Producers Issue 25, December 2004   
Fattoria dei BarbiFattoria dei Barbi Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
Issue 24, November 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 26, January 2005

Cellar Journal


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  Wine Producers Issue 25, December 2004   
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