An alluring, spicy and dusty mix of cherry and raspberry preserves, crushed stone and dusty flowers is lifted by cedar shavings and dried citrus peels as the majestic 2017 Brunello di Montalcino blossoms in the glass. This is fleshy yet delicate in feel, displaying pure ripe red berry fruit, nicely contrasted by salty mineral tones, and lacking only a bit of midpalate depth that might take it to the next level. It tapers off long while leaving the mouth watering for more, as a gentle tug of tannin slowly fades under rosy inner florals. Andrea Costanti didn’t produce a Riserva in 2017, and so all of that juice was used to try to bolster the Brunello. From what I’ve tasted, I’d say he succeeded.
Drink 2024 - 2029
Eric Guido, vinous.com (Oct 2021)
The Conti Costanti 2017 Brunello di Montalcino is nicely layered and concentrated, with an immediate delivery of black fruit, spice and potting soil. This vintage shows a savory personality more than it shows a sweet one, and the tannins are quite soft and velvety. This is an open-knit Brunello from a hot and dry vintage to drink in the medium-term.
Drink 2024 - 2038
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb 2022)
Andrea Costanti has crafted an appetising and characterful 2017, expressive without being over-exuberant or pushed. He reports doing more extraction than usual, with extended post-fermentation macerations as skins were thick and healthy. The tannins are textured and gritty without being green or bitter. While this doesn’t have the profoundness of 2016 or the silkiness of 2015 there is much charm in its vigour. Polished wood, subtle smoke, plum and bay leaf emerge from a backdrop of dry, dusty earth while concentrated acidity keeps it vibrant. One of the stars of the vintage.
Drink 2023 - 2032
Michaela Morris, Decanter.com (Nov 2021)
About this WINE
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.
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.
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.
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.