Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
This renowned and popular Brunello is made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes hand harvested from the Altesino, Montosoli and Velona vineyards. Aged in large Slovenian barrels for three and a half years, Altesino Brunello is also refined in bottle for four months.
This wine is a brilliant ruby red, tending toward brownish red when aged. Its bouquet is intense, pure and refined, reminiscent of sweet violet, tobacco and chocolate with pleasant hints of wild berries and vanilla. Flavour fully confirms these expectations. The alcohol is well-balanced and the wine is full-bodied with good tannins and a very solid structure.
International Wine Cellar - "Medium red. High-pitched aromas of raspberry, blood orange, minerals, mocha and cocoa powder: I was reminded of Burgundy. Wonderfully tight and perfumed in the mouth, with superb youthful definition to the raspberry and floral flavors. Perfumed and light on its feet. Finishes sharply delineated, firmly tannic and impressively long. With three full days in the recorked bottle, this wine became denser and more minerallly, offering a leathery hint and terrific sexy breadth."
Wine Spectator - "Smells like red Burgundy, with floral, cherry, woodsy and graphite aromas and flavors. Sweet and silky, underscored by firm, integrated tannins. Distinctive and delicious. Best from 2013 through 2022"
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a gracious, classy wine. Sweet red cherries, flowers, mint and spices are just some of the aromas and flavors that emerge from this mid-weight, restrained Brunello. In 2006 Altesino’s Brunello impresses for its balance, freshness and finessed tannins. It isn’t a blockbuster, but it will drink well upon release and over the next decade or so, perhaps longer. Floral notes waft from the glass on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. "
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Though the worldwide reputation of Brunello has encouraged a certain conservatism among Montalcino estates, Altesino has always been an innovative leader. The estate pioneered the technique of aging its IGT wines in small French oak barrels, limiting the time spent in oak to enhance each wine's personality. The resulting wines were a groundbreaking improvement over those produced by traditional methods. No longer overwhelmed by wood, they were able to display the unique characteristics of the fruit, with softened tannins and perfect balance.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Altesino became the first Montalcino estate to introduce the concept of "cru" wines, made with a special selection of grapes from a single vineyard. Elegance, finesse, and a fruitier, richer style are the trademarks of Altesino's wines, and have earned the estate a position among the very top producers of Brunello. This achievement is even more impressive considering Brunello is perhaps the most recognized Italian appellation.
When the winery was purchased at the end of 2002 by the Angelini family, owners of nearby Tenuta Caparzo, winemaker Claudio Basla remained with the estate, emphasizing his commitment to maintaining Altesino's hard-earned reputation as a Montalcino institution and a global leader in innovative winemaking. View all Altesino Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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