2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Conti Costanti

2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Conti Costanti

Product: 20108106322
2010 Brunello di Montalcino, Conti Costanti

Description

The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is fabulous. Dark cherry, lavender, mint, hard candy and a host of balsamic-inflected notes soar from the glass as this towering, structured Rivera shows off its personality. This is one of the more tannic, backward Riserva of the vintage. As such, demands patience. Just as extraordinary as it was last year, the Riserva once again shows just how magical this vintage was for Andrea Costanti.  Drink: 2022 – 2040
98/100, Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, Feb 2016

The Costantis are an old Sienese family dating back to the fifteenth century. They appear in the history of Montalcino as being involved in major event which led to the creation of the Republic of Siena in 1555. Fast forward to 1983 when a very young Andrea Costanti took over the family firm and started building the estate into the successful Brunello producer that we know today.

The winemaking style lies somewhere between the arch-traditionalists and the modernists with fermentation in stainless steel with two weeks maceration on the skins, followed by 18 months in 500 litre French oak barrels and 18 months in Slavonian oak botti, before 12 months in bottle before release, with another year in bottle for the riserva.

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About this WINE

Costanti

Costanti

Costanti is one of the finest estates in Montalcino, producing very high-quality Brunellos that are elegant, complex and extremely long-lived. Andrea Costanti runs it in collaboration with consultant oenologist Vittorio Fiore. The estate is situated in Colle al Matrieche in the eastern zone of the Montalcino district and the 7 hectares of vineyards are located on a high ridge 400 metres above sea level. At harvest time Costanti employs a rigorous selection process which ensures that only the finest quality fruit is used. His Brunellos are typically backward, dense and fairly impenetrable in their youth. They require bottle ageing to show at their finest and, when fully mature, they are amongst the richest and most harmonious wines in the district, displaying copious amounts of dark cherry and blackberry fruit, bolstered by svelte and elegant tannins.

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Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino

Along with Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino is Tuscany's most famous DOCG and the region's boldest expression of Sangiovese. Located 30 miles south of Siena with the hilltop town of Montalcino as its epicentre, its 2,000 hectares of vines are naturally delimited by the Orcia, Asso and Ombrone valleys. Brunello is the local name for the Sangiovese Grosso clone from which Brunello di Montalcino should be made in purezza (ie 100 percent).

The Brunello di Montalcino DOCG has a whale-like shape: at its head, at 661 metres above sea level on ancient, stony galestro soils facing east and southeast lies the town of Montalcino, where the DOC was founded. As you follow the spine south towards the tail, the vineyards lose altitude – those around Colle Sant'Angelo are at 250 metres – while the soils become richer with iron and clay. Further east, in the shadow of the 1,734 metre Mont'Amiata lies the village of Castelnuovo dell'Abate where the vineyards are strewn with a rich mix of galestro, granitic, volcanic, clay and schist soil types.

While Brunello di Montalcino's climate is mildly Mediterranean, thanks to the sea being a mere 20 miles away, the elevation of the vineyards provides an important diurnal temperature variation (ie hot days and cool nights). This benefits the grapes by maintaining acidity levels and extending their ripening time. The howling tramontana wind can also play an important role in drying and concentrating the fruit.

Historically, the zone is one of Tuscany's youngest. First praised in 1550 by Leandro Alberti for the quality of its wines, it was Tenuta Il Greppo who bottled the inaugural Brunello di Montalcino in 1888. By 1929, the region had 925 hectares of vines and 1,243 hectares of mixed crops, while in 1932 it was decreed that only those wines made and bottled within the commune could be labelled as Brunello di Montalcino. Since then, the number of producers has risen from 11 in 1960 to 230 in 2006, while over the same period the vineyards have expanded from 1,000 hectares to 12,000. The region earned its DOC in 1966, and was upgraded to DOCG in 1980.

Brunello di Montalcino cannot be released for sale until five years after the harvest, or six years in the case of Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. During this time the wines should be aged for at least two years in oak, followed by at least four months in bottle (six months for Riservas); maximum yields are 55 hl/ha. 

Rosso di Montalcino is declassified Brunello di Montalcino, released for sale 18 months after the harvest.

Recommended producers: Costanti, Fuligni, Lisini, San Giuseppe, Soldera, Cerbaiona

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Sangiovese

Sangiovese

A black grape widely grown in Central Italy and the main component of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano as well as being the sole permitted grape for the famed Brunello di Montalcino.

It is a high yielding, late ripening grape that performs best on well-drained calcareous soils on south-facing hillsides. For years it was blighted by poor clonal selection and massive overcropping - however since the 1980s the quality of Sangiovese-based wines has rocketed upwards and they are now some of the most sought after in the world.

It produces wines with pronounced tannins and acidity, though not always with great depth of colour, and its character can vary from farmyard/leather nuances through to essence of red cherries and plums. In the 1960s the advent of Super Tuscans saw bottlings of 100% Sangiovese wines, as well as the introduction of Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blends, the most famous being Tignanello.

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