Fattoria dei Barbi 2015, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Varietal: 100% Sangiovese
Appellation: Brunello di Montalcino
Drinking Window: 2020-2035
Alcohol Content: 14.5% Vol
Scores (if you care about): 96/100 James Suckling; 94/100 Monica Larner, Robertparker.com; 93+/100 Ian D'Agata/Vinous;
92/100 Wine Spectator; 91/100 Kerrin O'Keefe Wine Enthusiast
"Ripe plum and cherry aromas with dried flowers and spices. Some lavender and cedar, too. Full bodied, tight and chewy. Needs time to soften and come together. Better after 2022." 96/100 James Suckling, Sep 2020
"The Fattoria dei Barbi 2015 Brunello di Montalcino is a extremely polished and precise expression that hits all the right buttons for those seeking a classic expression of Sangiovese. In appearance, the wine shows a bright ruby hue with brilliant garnet reflections. The bouquet is tempered and shy at first, but it opens quickly to reveal those characteristic aromas of wild berry, candied cherry, licorice and pressed blue flowers that are so beautifully tied to this mighty Tuscan grape. Some 149,000 bottles were released in January 2020." 94/100, Monica Larner, Robertparker.com, Feb 2020
"Good brilliant red color. Wild aromas of red and darker berries, flint and violet. Juicy, herbal and firm, with precise red berry and mineral flavors. Closes bright and long, with mounting tannic bite." 93+/100, Ian D'Agata, Vinous, Apr 2020
"Plum, cherry, iron, earth and salty notes mark this vibrant red. Lean and sinewy, with firm, dusty tannins plying the finish. This comes together well overall, delivering a solid core of ripe fruit. Best from 2023 through 2040." 92/100, WineSpectator.com Jun 2020
"Menthol, blue-flower and tilled soil aromas emerge from the glass along with a whiff of dried tobacco leaf. The full-bodied palate offers dried cherry, vanilla and clove before finishing on a note of powdered sage. Close-grained tannins grip the close. Drink 2023–2030." 91/100 Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, Jul 2020
How often do we come across families which can trace history and lineage back for over 7 centuries? Colombini family that runs Fattoria dei Barbi is one such family. The second oldest estate in Montalcino, it's pioneer non pareil. The estate extends over 306 hectares (around 757 acres) at Montalcino and Scansano. Stefano Cinelli Colombini, heir of the ancient Sienese line that has been present in Montalcino since 1352, runs this family property. Stefano and Fattoria Dei Barbi have also been key contributors in helping Montalcino develop into the current attraction to the outside world.
The Fattoria has always been a careful custodian of tradition, but also attentive to innovation and a pioneer in every sphere of winemaking. It was the first firm in Montalcino to export bottled wine to France (1817), the first to sell Brunello by mail order (1832), the first to export it to America (1962), England (1969) and Japan (1975). In the 1960s the estate was a pioneer in using organic fertilizers, in the 1990s it created the first “artificial nose” for analyzing wine, and in 2000 was one of the first to use carbon dioxide for cold fermentation of red wines.
The 66 hectares of the farm have an average density of about 5,000 vines and produce on the average less than 1.5 kg of grapes per vine; thus each vine produces only a little more than one bottle of wine. The philosophy of the Colombini family and the Fattoria dei Barbi has always been to know and study the most innovative technology and then wed it to the best tradition, so as to improve everything they produce without ever changing its distinguishing characteristics.
Ancestors of the estate have also been known to be the first family who started mail order wine delivery in Tuscany! So ahead of their times!