~ Vineyards in the Orcia DOC at Fattoria del Colle ~

Nestled between the Brunello and Vino Nobile zones lies a narrow strip of land which is home to the winding Orcia river and the tiny DOC that bears the rivers name.  The Orcia DOC was formally established in 2000 and is comprised of approximately 320 acres.   Despite the miniscule size of the zone, there are 0ver 40 producers crafting wines from the DOC, the majority of which are red and based mostly on the Sangiovese grape.

Regulations permit blending of several different grapes; however the two main reds produced, Orcia Rosso and Orcia Sangiovese, must be at least 60% and 90% Sangiovese respectively.  The zone also allows bianco, rosato and vin santo production.  You can visit the Consorzio’s  Website for more information.

~ The cellars of Fattoria del Colle ~

Italians are notorious for their love of folk tales and perhaps none is more classic than Cinderella.  Beset by her two stepsisters, who were more famous and richer than she, the tale of Cinderella draws parallels with the subject of today’s article.  Cenerentola means “Cinderella” in Italian and like the story, the wine’s stepsisters can be represented by Brunello and Vino Nobile.  But like the tale, don’t be fooled……

The 2013 Fattoria del Colle Cenerentola is classy and eye opening.  A blend of 65% Sangiovese and 35% Foglia Tonda, an ancient grape that was revived after being abandoned almost a century ago, Cenerentola is hiding no ugly pumpkin under its classy packaging.  Proprietor Violante Gardini told me during a recent tasting that Foglia Tonda adds mostly increased color and “freshness” to the wine.  While I applaud the nod toward heritage, to me this wine behaved like a mono-varietal Sangiovese.  And that is in no way a complaint.

Deep ruby in the glass with faint violet reflections and a thin band of copper at the rim of the bowl, Cenerentola opens with vivid aromas of crushed cherry, dried flowers, hints of dried tobacco and sage.  It’s enticing to smell.  On the palate, the wine is elegant and the flavors harken a call to Sangiovese Grosso.  Medium bodied with notes of red plums, warmed clay and river stones, this stays fresh on the palate as the acidic backbone cleanses the finish. Very reminiscent of a Brunello made in a more feminine, lighter style.  90 points, but as retail creeps over $40, the value starts to take a hit.  Find this wine.

~ I love the label here – the elegant Cinderella strolling under the moonlight. ~


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