Why you should visit Fattoria dei Barbi...
Producer profile: Fattoria dei Barbi
There are three excellent reasons for a visit to Fattoria dei Barbi.
One is to taste the wines, and especially the rare old vintages; another is to tuck into a hearty Tuscan dish at the farm restaurant; and the third is to listen to Stefano Cinelli Colombini’s anecdotes from a family history which goes back to the Middle Ages.
The Colombinis have owned land at Montalcino since 1352. They acquired the Fattoria dei Barbi in the late 18th century and started producing Brunello in 1892, just four years after Biondi Santi.
The Fattoria is an institution in Montalcino, but in the past its wines lacked lustre. Cinelli Colombini has brought the production back up to scratch.
The Fattoria dei Barbi blue-label Brunello is a benchmark for the denomination; highly consistent, approachable when young but capable of ageing, classic in its aromas and Sangiovese grip.
The Vigna del Fiore single vineyard selection has a suave elegance, which again belies its ageing potential. The 1988 and 1990 were drinking beautifully earlier this year.
The red-label Brunello Riserva, produced only in exceptional vintages, has provided me with some of my most memorable tasting experiences in Montalcino.
Richard Baudains is the regional chair for Veneto in the Decanter World Wine Awards.