Altesino’s esteemed Brunello is built to last. (If you can, consider letting it rest for 20 years or more.) Patience will be rewarded: the winery is a pioneer in the production of Montalcino Sangiovese characterized by balance, finesse, and intensity. This wine brings together fruit from the vineyards of Altesino, Macina, Pianezzine, and Castelnuovo dell’Abate in the Val d’Arbia DOC. First produced in 1972, the wine traditionally ages for at least four years prior to release: a minimum of two years in oak barrels, four months maturation in bottle.
Brilliant ruby-red, tending toward garnet red with age, this Brunello has an intense, pure bouquet of sweet violets, tobacco, chocolate, wild berries, and vanilla. The palate confirms the nose, yielding a full, well-balanced wine with firm tannins and nicely-defined structure.
“Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. 10,000 cases made.”
96 points, Wine Spectator, June 2017
“Marking the winery’s 40th harvest, this vintage offers classic Sangiovese fragrance: wild berry, blue flower, baking spice and a whiff of new leather. The palate is sleek and elegant, doling out juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise, framed by lithe, polished tannins and fresh acidity. It’s loaded with finesse and tempting now but will be even better with a few more years in bottle. Drink 2019–2026.”
94 points + “Cellar Selection”, Wine Enthusiast, Jan 2017
“Altesino is now celebrating the release of its 40th harvest. In fact, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino is inscribed with the words “our 40th Harvest” in gold letters on its front label. This is a truly delicious wine that exceeds my expectations. I love the way it takes full command of the slightly bolder and more opulent dark fruit aromas produced in this hot vintage. Black cherry, plum and crème de cassis converge on the bouquet. Grilled herb, forest floor, licorice and exotic spice play supporting roles. The finish offers moderate acidity on the Sangiovese scale. This means the wine is mush fresher and more tonic than most Tuscan reds. The finish is long and silky.”
93 points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2017
“A juicy Brunello with plum and dark-chocolate character, yet this always remains subtle and fresh. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, Nov 2016