The estate of Villa I Cipressi is situated just outside the fortress town of Montalcino, on the hillside towards San Angelo in Colle. It is a small family owned and family driven farm. Thirty years ago, the family started out as beekeepers and based their future on producing different types of honey. (as an aside, I have some, and it's amazing - especially the hazelnuts in honey)
Beginning in 2000, Villa i Cipressi started producing Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino - mostly at the request of local clients. The tiny estate now produces wine from 3 1/2 hectares (8 tiny acres) of Sangiovese vines in the territory of Montalcino. The vineyards are located both in the southern part of the territory and in the north-western part, and both benefit from southerly exposure which allows the vines to receive the best sunlight throughout the day. Everything is artisan.
|~ Barrel Aging Cellars of Villa i Cipressi ~ (Photo Courtesy of Joanie Karapetian)|
ZEE-bra or ZEB-bra? It makes no difference in the end. The owner of the estate loves Zebras. So much so that they commissioned an artist to create a colorful mural in their barrel cellars, a replication of which now graces the label of this flagship Brunello.
The 2006 Villa i Cipressi Brunello Zebras is a dark crimson with violet reflections. The aromas are delicate yet persistent and feature bright berries, sandalwood, fresh herbs/brush and flowers. On the palate, the spicy berry notes are attractive and are accented by herbs, slight smoke, dried tobacco and hints of anise. This is very juicy and fresh and I love the "weight" on the palate. It's seemingly light, but clearly full bodied, but with moderate, well integrated tannins.
The Zebra Brunello is a selection of the estate's best fruit, though it is not a Riserva. It spends 2 years in oak; 60% French barrique and 40% large cask, and an additional year in bottle before release. This 2006 is delicious now, but I think a few more years in bottle will increase the wine's complexity. 92 points. 29 Euro.
|~ The 2006 Zebras Brunello from Villa i Cipressi ~|