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Altesino Brunello di Montalcino (5 Liter Bottle) 2012

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#11 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

Brunello is considered among Italy's top-quality wines. Made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes hand-harvested from the Altesino, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Macina, and Pianezzine vineyards, this wine is an example of finesse and elegance inherent to Montalcino's best vineyard sites.

Ruby-red with a garnet rim, this wine's bouquet displays ample aromas of violet, wild berries, tobacco, chocolate, and vanilla. On the palate, Altesino Brunello is rich, full-bodied, and velvety.

With velvety tannins, balanced acidity, and supple body, this Brunello is the wine of choice for rich dishes such as osso bucco, pot roasts, barbecues, and beef stew.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Marking the winery's 40th harvest, this vintage offers classic Sangiovese fragrance: wild berry, blue flower, baking spice and a whiff of new leather. The palate is sleek and elegant, doling out juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise, framed by lithe, polished tannins and fresh acidity. It's loaded with finesse and tempting now but will be even better with a few more years in bottle. Drink 2019–2026.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Altesino is now celebrating the release of its 40th harvest. In fact, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is inscribed with the words "our 40th Harvest" in gold letters on its front label. This is a truly delicious wine that exceeds my expectations. I love the way it takes full command of the slightly bolder and more opulent dark fruit aromas produced in this hot vintage. Black cherry, plum and crème de cassis converge on the bouquet. Grilled herb, forest floor, licorice and exotic spice play supporting roles. The finish offers moderate acidity on the Sangiovese scale. This means the wine is mush fresher and more tonic than most Tuscan reds. The finish is long and silky.
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Altesino

Altesino

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Altesino, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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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.

Montalcino

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Famous for its bold, layered and long-lived red, Brunello di Montalcino, the town of Montalcino is about 70 miles south of Florence, and has a warmer and drier climate than that of its neighbor, Chianti. The Sangiovese grape is king here, as it is in Chianti, but Montalcino has its own clone called Brunello.

The Brunello vineyards of Montalcino blanket the rolling hills surrounding the village and fan out at various elevations, creating the potential for Brunello wines expressing different styles. From the valleys, where deeper deposits of clay are found, come wines typically bolder, more concentrated and rich in opulent black fruit. The hillside vineyards produce wines more concentrated in red fruits and floral aromas; these sites reach up to over 1,600 feet and have shallow soils of rocks and shale.

Brunello di Montalcino by law must be aged a minimum of four years, including two years in barrel before realease and once released, typically needs more time in bottle for its drinking potential to be fully reached. The good news is that Montalcino makes a “baby brother” version. The wines called Rosso di Montalcino are often made from younger vines, aged for about a year before release, offer extraordinary values and are ready to drink young.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

HNYALNBTO12H_2012 Item# 256530