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Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Altero 2012

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP95
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  • WE90
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Persistent and enticing, Altero stands out for its complexity and richness, as wellas its wonderful elegance and approachability. Altero (which means “self-confident” in Italian) was born in 1983 as a "simple" I.G.T. that was (and remains today) identical to Brunello, and conforming to all the requirements for Brunello EXCEPT the mandatory aging period in wood (at that time three and a half years). This aging process certainly contributes to Altero’s forward nose and enveloping mouth-feel.

Starting with the 1995 vintage, the aging period in wood required for Brunello was reduced to two years. Because from the very first vintage Altero had always conformed to these new requirements (and all the others), it automatically gained the status of Brunello di Montalcino. For these reasons Altero is referred to as the estate’s more "modern" Brunello.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Here's a richly concentrated expression from one of the highest sites in Montalcino. The wine shows excellent balance and suppleness. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Altero flaunts the best characteristics of the hot vintage including beautifully saturated color intensity, seamless aromas and good texture richness. On that last point, I feel that the mouthfeel has been positively impacted by oak tannins. Dark cherry and dried blackberry are followed by spice, tar, licorice and grilled rosemary or Mediterranean herb. The wine is youthful and tight but should obtain a more polished approach with a few more years of bottle aging.
JS 94
James Suckling
A pretty and ripe Brunello with lots of plum and cherry aromas. Full body, soft and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Some dustiness within the texture. Dense and enticing.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
A lean, tightly wound version, with the tannins gaining the upper hand on the cherry, tobacco, orange peel and iron flavors. Though brooding, this is vibrant, delivering power and length. Best from 2022 through 2033.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Aromas of French oak, coconut, toast and a whiff of menthol follow through to the medium-bodied palate along with sour cherry, raspberry, star anise and clove. Close-grained tannins leave a firm finish. Some may find this too oak-driven but others will find it attractive.
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Poggio Antico

Poggio Antico

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Poggio Antico, Italy
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Poggio Antico is one of Montalcino's most elevated estates, with vineyards averaging 1476 feet above sea level, southwest of the famed medieval citadel. Both the unique location and altitude privilege the wines of Poggio Antico, which benefit from the perfect exposure and enjoy favorable overnight drops in temperature, ideal conditions that increase finesse and intense bouquet.

Poggio Antico was founded in 1976 and consist of 50 clayey, calcareous acres of Brunello di Montalcino. The estate has seen a phenomenal growth, going from 50 to the present 80 acres under vine, developing two parallel Brunello worlds – the more traditional, larger-barrel Brunello, aged longer in Slavonian oak and the modern, finesse-driven Altero, aged in tonneaux of French oak; securing a stellar position in the global market and extending and upgrading the facility to ultrahigh-tech standards.

In 2017 Poggio Antico changed hands and was purchased by Atlas Invest, and it is now directed by the new General Manager Federico Trost. Poggio Antico recently lead a soil survey to approach the plot-by-plot management which started with the 2018 vintage by identifying, and consequently harvesting and fermenting separately, the micro terroirs inside each vineyard. All the estate is currently under organic conversion and a renovation of the cellar and of the hospitality center are part of the new plans.

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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.

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Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino

Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and 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 success growing in California and Washington.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. 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 fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

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

EPC35750_2012 Item# 355488