Wine Advocate 94 points - The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva emerges from the glass with freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, licorice and spices all wrapped around a sensual, elegant frame of notable class. Considerable aeration is needed to bring out the wine’s depth and textural richness. This is an excellent wine, but more often than not I am attracted more to the straight Brunello here, as is the case again in 2006. Costanti gave the 2006 Riserva 36 months in oak, 18 months in medium-sized barrels followed by 18 months in cask. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. (Apr 2012)
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The noble Costanti family goes back a long way - at least to Renaissance times. One of several famous counts, Costanti - Tito - was both a lawyer and a winemaker, and actually anticipated the present DOCG and DOC. Not only was he one of the very first to use the name Brunello for Montalcino red wines, but the methods he employed were strikingly similar to those used for Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino today.
Costanti Brunellos, however, were jealously guarded secrets until the early 1960s, circulating solely among the owners’ friends and family. This changed with count Emilio Costanti, physician and grape-grower, who first put the family name on the wine map. Dr. Costanti had no children. After maximizing the winery’s potential and releasing the first “public” vintages, Emilio Costanti traced the sole living descendant of the ancient Sienese family, Andrea Costanti, a fresh graduate in geology at the University of Siena with no background in wine.
Andrea was appointed as the legendary count’s heir and successor in 1983 and immediately proved himself well worthy of Emilio’s trust. He not only coped with his huge new responsibilities, but actually upgraded and enhanced the family’s reputation for making great Brunello. He achieved this by relying on his own fine instinct for wine, and an in-depth knowledge of the terrain’s geological components. In time, these natural skills were perfected, so that he eventually styled the range together with winemaker, Vittorio Fiore.
The range has the unmistakable imprint of the Matrichese cru, yielding Brunellos of unparalleled elegance and complexity, with luscious, focused berry fruit, remarkable structure and exquisite balance. Today, the Matrichese terroir, which remains the heart of the estate and covers 25 acres or high-rising vines, at an altitude of 1,312-1,476 feet a.s.l., is flanked by a 10-acre vineyard at Montosoli (1,181 feet a.s.l.).
At Costanti’s original range the harvest takes place between the first and second week of October. After 14 to 21 days’ temperature-controlled fermentation on the skins in stainless steel vats of max. 50-hl. capacity, the wine undergoes the mandatory elevage in oak, then six months’ minimum maturation in the bottle. The result is sumptuously full bodied, rich, complex, with deep, opulent fruit, and sturdy sustaining acidity and tannins, conducive to enduring grandeur and longevity. The vineyards are clayey/calcareous, with a density of 3,500 vines per acre, and the soil is poor in organic components. This ensures higher extract and concentration as well as ample, elegant aromas.