Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 2016

£72.49

“There’s a sensuality to Costanti’s 2016 Brunello di Montalcino. It’s something about the way it draws you in and warms the soul. Its bouquet straddles both the light and dark sides of Sangiovese, rising up with alluring flowery perfumes, cedar dust and crushed cherry, yet then swaying toward rich brown spices and clove. The textures are velvety-smooth and elegant, ushering in a dense core of fleshy red berry fruits, which leave a coating of crystalline minerals and fine tannins in their wake. Though structured and aching for a stay in the cellar, you can’t help but pour another glass of this simply spellbinding Brunello. While in need of three to five years in the cellar for optimal enjoyment, the 2016 is absolutely worth checking in on today. Drinking window: 2025-2038. 96 points

I was very happy from the first moment I tilted my glass of 2015 Costanti Brunello Riserva. Thinking back to my tastings of the 2015s in February, the Brunello di Montalcino was one of the wines from the vintage that captured the sun-kissed persona of the year, yet it didn’t deliver the complexities and structure that I look for in these wines. Well, let’s just say that the Riserva more than makes up for that performance. It’s layered, primary and structured with the capacity for a long and steady evolution in our cellars. Costanti explained that the Riserva is a selection of his best barrel of Brunello each year; the one that strikes him as having the most potential for long aging, yet the élevage is exactly the same. The Riserva spends the same time in barrel as the straight Brunello, with just one more year refining in bottle before release. However, while I’m fawning over the 2015 Riserva, it would be a shame not to mention that the 2016 Brunello is spectacular as well. Costanti has captured all of the best qualities of the vintage, and he’s turned out a wine that will thrill fans of this historic estate. Another interesting moment from our recent interview included Costanti’s explanation of how much global warming has actually helped this part of Montalcino over the past decade, located in the cooler northeast between 380 and 450 meters above sea level. When he originally began working in the vineyards during the early eighties, achieving balanced ripeness wasn’t always easy; but today, the warm days are perfectly balanced by the cold currents that blow through these hillside vineyards at night. Something to keep in mind – granted, this is the classic production zone – is that it has only been in the last decade or so that the producers here have really captured the attention of a wider range of Brunello collectors.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (11/20)

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