Rosso di Montalcino 2010
Very bright floral raspberry tightness, with fresh fruit sweetness and generosity on the palate making it balanced, focused and approachable.
Brunello di Montalcino 2007
Had that fantastic stinky reductive power, but also showed dried cranberries and spices with full bright yet soft tannins, balance and harmony with great focus down the middle of the palate.
Brunello di Montalcino 2005
A lot more earthy development on the nose, but was also quite closed. On the palate it had developed suppleness and balance, and was wonderfully approachable.
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006
Very closed and needs a lot of time to soften out and open up. On the nose it combined earthy minerality with toasty black cherries, and whilst expressive and full, with time it will become more opulent as the very tight tannin structure mellows.
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004
Probably the best wine I tasted in Tuscany, and with good reason as it came from one of the best vintages ever. Exquisitely aromatic, combining delicate florals, juicy blackberries, red liquorice, delicate herbs and spices with a molasses character to boot. On the palate it was so gentle and rich, yet elegant, balanced and focused, and the classic faecal notes where hauntingly subtle to make it unmistakably great Brunello.
The Costanti range
Looking back over the past few weeks in Italy there were certain trends that I have identified in hindsight. One of these trends was who I was hosted by in wineries depending on the region. In Alto Adige, Romagna and Valpolicella my hosts varied, in the latter two regions I was only there for a short time. In all of the other regions – or more specifically sub-regions – I was commonly hosted by a person of similar position. For example when I was in Friuli many of my hosts were one of the children of the owner/founder of the winery, who are now heavily involved with different elements of the business. When I was in Piedmont, more often than not I was hosted by either the winemaker or the owner/winemaker. In both of these cases the host is able to provide first-hand insights into the specifics of the winery, and are well prepared to answer any of my probing questions. As you could imagine, Tuscany is the most visited region in Italy by tourists, particularly English speaking tourists, and as such there are dedicated individuals to welcome these guests. In many instances this week I was hosted by these individuals, sometimes privately and sometimes with others. Because I have not only experience with wine education of this nature and also will continue to make this an important part of career, I don’t really mind listening in to different approaches to wine communication. Being somewhat selfish however, it is difficult to take a lot away from these experiences as most of the information provided I already know, and I don’t want to intervene too much on the tour. If I am honest I would think that wineries would take me a little more seriously than this, as I am not a tourist and am going to great expense to visit the region and winery. I don’t feel it is appropriate to ask for specific hosts as any invitation to visit is welcome, but I would hope that wineries I request to visit treat it as an opportunity. Montalcino is possibly the most beautiful part of Tuscany I visited, and the wines are out of this world, but unfortunately I didn’t learn a lot about this complicated wine and was a little disappointed at not being taken more seriously.
|The fort of Montalcino