Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Only made in the finest years. 100% Sangiovese from vineyards at 1,315-1,480 feet. Once bottled, the wine rested at least 24 months before it was released. This wine is complex and austere, and will undoubtedly benefit from further bottle age, peaking in 5-10 years' time. Top vintages will also have top longevity.
Decant at least an hour beforehand and pair with rich, structured dishes, red meat, game, seasoned cheeses.
James Suckling - "There's finesse and beauty to this wine with plum and berry character, shaved chocolate and hints of almonds. Full and super fine. Gorgeous. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva wraps around the palate with gorgeous depth. Plums, smoke, licorice, tobacco and mocha all develop in the glass. The 2007 gives the impression of being shaped a little more by the oak because of its voluptuous texture. A huge, explosive finish rounds things out nicely. This is an especially bombastic, rich wine for Costanti, but it is also quite fine and loaded with personality. There is plenty of pedigree in the glass. Still, more often than not, I find myself gravitating towards the straight Brunello bottling here. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.
Andrea Costanti has turned out a superb set of wines. What else is new? His 2008 Brunello is one of the wines of the vintage. Judging by the wines Costanti has in the cellar, there are plenty of exciting Brunellos in the pipeline as well. Costanti ages his Brunellos in a combination of cask and tonneau. Tasting the separate components illustrates the effect of oak on unfinished wines to a striking degree. Personally, I feel this fruit, from relatively high-altitude sites near the center of town, is best suited to more neutral oak. That is also true of the Riserva, a wine that, while outstanding, doesn-t seem to hit the same high notes as the straight bottling. I have long thought of Costanti as a top ten estate in Montalcino, but I am now convinced this property could belong in the top five.”"
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a meaty and masculine wine that is ready to drink now or within the next two to three years. It shows tight yet savory aromas of cured meat and spice followed by dried berry and cassis. The tannins are silky and polished, and there’s a flash of extra power and flavor intensity on the finish."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Complex aromas and flavors of minerals, red cherry, blackberry, mocha and leather, with a suggestion of almost liqueur-like ripeness leavened by a distinctly sappy quality. Broad and sweet but with excellent underlying structure, this wine finishes with broad, sweet tannins and repeating red cherry and sweet pipe tobacco flavors. An outstanding wine that is typically ripe and hot for the year, but it also has an element of grace that most other 2007 Brunellos do not possess."
Wine Spectator - "A breath of fresh cherry, raspberry, floral and spice flavors, this red is elegant, vibrant and harmonious. The firm tannins mesh with the ripe fruit and dense texture, leaving a lasting impression on the finish. Best from 2015 through 2032."
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Conti Costanti Winery
The small town of Montalcino, huddled around its fortressed castle on the Tuscan hillside, is miniature perfection. Montalcino residents are a tightly knit community, with a strong sense of identity and deep love for their territory. Within this community, Andrea Costanti is a well known and highly liked figure. The Costanti family has been part of Montalcino history since 1555, yet Andrea is anything but 'old hat': young, brilliant and amiable, he very much moves with the times. You will find him perfectly at ease in Tuscany as in New York, in Paris or in Tokyo. In 1983, Andrea (at the time, fresh out of Siena University's geology department) took over from his uncle, Count Emilio – the man who first put Costanti on the wine map. A difficult task: yet this inexperienced youth not only coped with his huge new responsibilities, but actually upgraded and enhanced the family's reputation for making great Brunello. He achieved this by relying on his own fine instinct for wine and in-depth knowledge of the terrain's geological components. In time, these natural skills were perfected, so that he eventually styled the range together with Vittorio Fiore. Roughly 25 acres are under vine and vine age ranges from 6 to 25 years old. Soil type is classic Tuscan "galestro" (shale marls from the Cretaceous Era, formed by a mixture of sand and calcareous rock with very little clay). View all Conti Costanti 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.