Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Altero 2001
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Open, very persistent and clean, with wonderful aromas of blackberries, raspberries, coffee, spices and vanilla.
Rich, powerful, extremely concentrated yet elegant and velvety. The silky and ripe tannins make it particularly smooth to the palate. Loads of plum, dark cherry and licorice and a very very long finish. A wine that will keep and further improve for many years.
Wine & Spirits - "From an estate near the town of Tavernelle, just southwest of Montalcino, this brunello makes a powerful statement. It is both heady and rich in its black fruit, while giving no ground on brooding tannin and acidity. The structure developed through aging two years in 500-liter French tonneaux, followed by two years in bottle. It feels tough and austere, yet it also feels fresh, the fruit balancing that toughness with gentleness. Tremendously long, extremely concentrated, powerfully extracted and still elegant, this has a long life ahead."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep, bright red-ruby. Primal aromas of blackberry, licorice, mocha, iron and game, with a distinctly wild, reduced aspect. Sweet, intensely flavored and gripping. This expands impressively toward the back while maintaining its shape. A wine of penetrating sweetness and terrific extract. Firmly tannic on the dense, palate-coating finish but the tannins are a bit sweeter than those of the normal.
Wine Spectator - "Lots of bright fruit and licorice with just a hint of wood. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, caressing finish."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Altero is the estate's more modern Brunello. A saturated ruby, it offers an expressive, perfumed nose along with nuances of scorched earth, toasted oak, licorice and sweet dark fruit in a richly concentrated, expansive style. This deeply-flavored Brunello will require a few years to integrate and should drink well for at least another decade. Extended aeration is not suggested with this wine, however. Tasted alongside the regular bottling a day after opening, the Altero was less impressive than it was the day before, while the regular bottling was still developing positively. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2019."
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Poggio Antico Winery
Paola Gloder has one of Montalcino's most elevated estates, with vineyards averaging 1476 feet above sea level, southwest of the famed medieval citadel. Both the unique location and altitude privilege the wines of Poggio Antico. The lower hillside terroir south of Montalcino is conducive to powerful and opulent Brunellos. This, combined with the estate's vineyard elevations -- which enjoy favorable overnight drops in temperature -- bring increased finesse and intense bouquet.
The young and tireless owner has been firmly at the helm of Poggio Antico almost since its inception, when her father purchased 50 clayey, calcareous acres of Brunello di Montalcino vineyards, in 1984. Paola's husband, Alberto Montefiori, joined her in this task in 1998. In their forceful hands, the estate has seen a phenomenal growth, going from 50 to the present 80 acres under vine, developing two parallel Brunello worlds – the more traditional, larger-barrel Brunello, aged longer in Slavonian oak and the modern, finesse-driven Altero, aged in tonneaux of French oak; securing a stellar position in the global market and extending and upgrading the facility to ultrahigh-tech standards. View all Poggio Antico 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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