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Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 2006

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP95
  • WE98
  • V94
  • WS92
  • WE95
  • W&S93
  • RP92
  • WE96
  • WS94
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2.5 1 Ratings

Winemaker Notes

Brilliant ruby in color, the intense, ripe aromas of berry fruit prelude a lush and full bodied palate.

100% Sangiovese

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a dazzling wine. The aromatics alone are haunting. Sweet red cherries, rosemary, sage, tobacco and cedar are woven into a fabric of nearly indescribable elegance. Costanti’s straight Brunello can sometimes lack a little depth in its fruit, but not in 2006. This totally complete, harmonious Brunello is shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage. It is a stunner. As delicious as the wine is now, it really needs at least a handful of years for the firm tannins to start melting away. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031.

When Andrea Costanti’s wines are on – as they are here – they are among the most enjoyable of the entire appellation. The slightly updated yet traditional style is immensely appealing.
Rating: 95+

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Conti Costanti

Conti Costanti

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Conti Costanti, , Italy
Conti Costanti
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).

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

PIN166954_2006 Item# 110984

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