Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 1996
Near the end of 2002, Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini, owner of nearby Tenuta Caparzo, purchased the Altesino winery. Today's winemaking team, led by Simone Giunti and Alessandro Ciacci, is firmly committed to maintaining Altesino’s hard-earned reputation as a Montalcino institution and a global leader in innovative winemaking. Amid the eastern hills of Montalcino near Siena in central Tuscany, stands the magnificently elegant 14th century-built Palazzo Altesi, home to the Altesino winery and a marvelous resort. The ancient coat of arms, carved in white Carrara marble, is still visible above the antique oak portal. The stunning Palazzo Altesi beautifully reflects Altesino’s charm and refinement. Though the worldwide reputation of Brunello has encouraged some conservatism among Montalcino estates, Altesino has always been a leader, unafraid of innovation. 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. Its Montosoli Brunello, named after the prestigious vineyard, was the first of these wines and is still considered among the regions finest. Altesino also pioneered the concept of Brunello futures (wine purchased before its release) with its 1985 vintage. This commitment to innovation led to many modern wines in the estates portfolio, including Alte d’Altesi, Palazzo Altesi and Rosso di Altesino. 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.