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Altesino Montosoli Brunello di Montalcino 2004

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • WS95
  • WE93
  • JS97
  • WE97
  • WS95
  • JS94
  • WE93
  • WS93
  • WS98
  • JS97
  • RP96
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Winemaker Notes

Montosoli Brunello di Montalcino is a deep ruby red, turning a deep orangey red after ageing. Its bouquet has outstanding character including black cherry, blackberries, raspberries, violets, liquorice and vanilla with a slight accent of pink pepper. In the mouth this very noble wine offers a dry, warm, velvety taste, rich substance and noble pedigree, ending with a warm note that lingers on persuasively. Altesino has gained important international recognition for its Cru Montosoli since ‘Wine Spectator' called it Italy's second most representative vineyard.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator

Shows meat and blackberry on the nose, with hints of rose perfume. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, rich and flavorful finish. Love the cocoa, berry and light vanilla bean aftertaste. This is always classic in an outstanding year. Best from 2010 through 2015. 1,500 cases made.

WE 93
Wine Enthusiast

We preferred Altesino’s base Brunello to its cru selection from the estate’s special 10-acre vineyard—but only by the smallest of margins. Montosoli is a tremendous wine with impressive intensity and staying power that takes shape as cherry, tobacco, spice and bursting blueberry. Drink from 2010 through 2020.

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Altesino

Altesino

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Altesino, , Italy
Altesino
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.

Carneros

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. Its close proximity to the San Francisco Peninsula and the San Pablo Bay is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo Bay create a cooling effect ideal for producing wines with crisp acidity and balanced flavors.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and more recently, Old-World style Syrah. While more delicate than most wines from neighboring regions, these are firmly structured, complex, and full of flavor. Carneros is also an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

WBO30072269_2004 Item# 98386

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