~ Donatella’s team working in the cellar ~ 
Prima Donna, first lady of the stage…….



In 1998, after a contentious familial split,  Donatella Cinelli Colombini left her family’s estate to start her own endeavour. As part of the agreement, Donatella emerged with the Casato Estate in Montalcino. Along with the vineyards, cellars and farmhouses needing renovation, Donatella received a quantity of Brunello di Montalcino and required  a cellar master to oversee its barrel-ageing.


She called the Oenology school in Siena asking for a recommended student to hire. She was told that none were available and that these needed to be arranged years in advance. However, they mentioned that they had many female cellar masters available since no important winery in Italy wanted to employ them.  The Prime Donne project was born!
~ This Pork Giambotta was excellent with the Brunello:  Double cut roasted pork chop with sweet fennel sausage, roasted potatoes and hot cherry peppers ~


Prime Donne means “First Women” in Italian and is indeed an apt name for a winery managed, directed and maintained by an all woman team.   Although women are no strangers to the wine industry in Italy, many being 2nd or 3rd generation siblings and having inherited estates, roles and winemaking duties from deceased or retired parents, Casato Prime Donne is groundbreaking in it’s unique design.  
Today we’re focusing on the 2010 Estate Brunello which we first reported on as part of our Comprehensive 2010 Vintage Report.   It was impressive then and now, one year later, its even better. 
In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby color with lots of violet reflections throughout.  The aromas from the glass are utterly pure and amazing.  Vibrant floral notes mix with pure crushed berries, hints of vanilla, baking spices, rich pipe tobacco and fresh anise seed.  It is captivating.   On the palate, the freshness of the wine is so exuberant, it’s lively and almost rambunctious.  A large core of pure crushed red cherry contains lasers of cured meat, fennel, dusty mineral notes and sweet cigar tobacco leaf.  I absolutely love it.  Tannins and acids are well balanced, but without food, the tannins are still substantial enough to make you say “this will be better with food”.  Still, it’s picking nits.  An excellent wine from what is sure to be a legendary vintage.   95 points.  About $55.


~ I look forward to following the Brunello over the years to come ~

Have you tried this wine?   Let’s discuss in the comments section.   


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