Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Brunello can only be described as 'Riserva' if it has aged for five years in the cellar. Only produced during the best years, with a limited number of bottles, Brunello Riserva is destined for truly passionate lovers of wine. This garnet red wine has a clear aroma of humus and a broad, complex and ethereal aroma. It maintains such an austere and fascinating character on the palate, emphasising its structure of great depth and power.
Wine Spectator - "A fine expression of place, this intense red exhibits wild underbrush, iron and raw meat notes complemented by cherry, raspberry and leather. There’s a firm backbone of acidity and tannins, but this stays balanced, with a long aftertaste of mineral and spice. Best from 2014 through 2030."
International Wine Cellar - "Good full, bright red. Very pure but subdued nose hints at raspberry, high-pitched spices and blood orange. Tactile, suave and deep, with ripe but firm raspberry and cherry fruit flavors complemented by saline minerality, leather and a strong floral quality that mounts inexorably on the back end. Tighter and higher-pitched than Altesino's two 2007 releases--no surprise in light of the different styles of these two vintage. Really resounds on the aromatic aftertaste. This wine showed even deeper red fruits and spices with extended time in the recorked bottle, combining almost Burgundian perfume with Brunello tannins and structure."
James Suckling - "Complex aromas of dried mushrooms, flowers and dark fruits follow though to a full body with fine tannins and a chocolate, dried meat and dark fruit aftertaste. Wonderful depth of fruit and balance. Drink now."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (from Montosoli) is a rich, sumptuous wine bursting with sweet black cherries, incense, licorice and tobacco. The 2006 Riserva boasts fabulous depth to match a full-bodied personality that is highly appealing. With air, the Riserva is approachable today, but it has the depth to continue to evolve for many years. This is a fabulous showing from Altesino. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026."
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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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