Today’s Story: Azienda Agricola Altesino
Altesino is a well-known and fairly large producer of Brunello di Montalcino, established in 1970 in the northeastern hills of Montalcino in central Tuscany. Situated in the 15th-century Palazzo Altesi, the estate’s historic cellars remain in use today though the winery has since expanded to a larger production facility built into the hillsides behind the vineyards. The property today consists of 100 hectares (247 acres), though only half of this area is planted to vineyards. These vineyards are then subdivided into the six parcels of Altesino, Macina, Cerbaia, Montosoli (which is the first-ever Cru/single-vineyard bottling of Brunello di Montalcino), Pianezzine, and Velona. A majority of the vines are planted to Sangiovese for the production of Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino, and Palazzo Altesi, however the property also contains Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Trebbiano, Malvasia, Vermentino, Chardonnay, and Viognier to round out a rather robust portfolio of wines.
Today’s Wine: 2011 Brunello di Montalcino
100% Sangiovese; 14.5% ABV
The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is deep garnet in color. I decanted this for about an hour, allowing the wine to open with aromas of medium (+) intensity and a nose of bing cherry, black raspberry, redcurrant, red rose, anise, tomato leaf, leather, charred green herbs, dried earth, a hint of mushroom, and dried gravel. The flavors are also of medium (+) intensity, with the palate offering up notes of cherry, red plum, raspberry, dried strawberry, grilled red tomato, licorice, tobacco, charred herbs, crushed rock, a hint of smoke, and terracotta. This dry red is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium (+) but tightly-knit tannin, high alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. Very good quality and a great representation of the variety and region.
Price: $60. I think this offers pretty decent value for Brunello. The typicity here is top notch as this offers a very classical representation of Sangiovese and Brunello di Montalcino, all while being well-balanced and fairly complex relative to pricier bottles.