ALTESINO, BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
TUSCANY, ITALY 2017
Tuscan wine is a constellation all its own, and it is little exaggeration to say that in that firmament Altesino is one of its most glittering stars. James Suckling has hailed it as one of the "greatest names in Tuscan wine," and its annual releases of Brunello are among the mostly hotly-anticipated new wines by collectors around the globe.
One of the unfortunate results of the frenzied rush among collectors is that bottles are in short supply in the marketplace, which just makes today's news that much sweeter: Our buyers worked hard to obtain allocations of two highly sought-after Altesino wines: the 2017 Montosoli and their 2017 flagship.
The winery's emphasis on traditional methods of viticulture and winemaking is, by now, a matter of public record, but what is less talked about is the fact that the winery has long been an innovator. Altesino was the first Tuscan estate to use barriques, and it was also one of the forerunners of the “cru” concept in Italy. Fifty hectares of vines extend over six of these crus, which are at the heart of the estate's production.
The most coveted of these is Montosoli, which Wine Spectator has called one of Italy’s most distinguished single vineyards. It is a decidedly small plot, at just 5 hectares, but its soils of marly limestone, coupled with an optimal microclimate, produce grapes of distinction and elegance.
Montosoli is produced only in the best vintages, and our tastings showed the 2017 to be flat-out gorgeous, a rich, fruit-forward, full-bodied wine of expert craftsmanship that we expect will age beautifully over the next several decades.
In its 94+ rave, Vinous raved: "The aromatics alone are worth the price of entry." It went on to praise its elegance and minerality, noting the "fine tannins" that are "almost imperceptible until the finish, where notes of blood orange mingle with licorice and inner rose. In a word, spellbinding."
With the flagship, we find ourselves in the presence of a more classically styled Brunello. Sourced from the estate's most distinctive vineyards (Altesino, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Macina, and Pianezzine) and matured for 42 months in Slavonian oak barrels prior to bottling, the wine has all the opulence you want in a full-bodied red, but that richness is also beautifully balanced.
Vinous was again taken with its aromatics, praising the "zesty and wild bouquet of crushed red fruits in a cloud of cedar dust," along with "sweet spices with hints of leather and herbs. Notes of black cherry slowly turn more to cranberry, with sweet herbs, minerals and juicy acidity. The finish is long, maintaining a vibrant personality ... This is … going to make a lot of Sangiovese lovers very happy."
Speaking as a Sangiovese lover, I will only add: si, absolutamente.
And: don't miss out on this rare opportunity to enjoy the wines of one of Tuscany's top estates, and at these unbeatable prices.
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Thursday, February 3, 2022.