All wines stored at 55° and 70% humidity
The wines of Costanti today are revered as much for their deep historical significance as for their fortitude progressing into the 21st century with a philosophy firmly rooted in the 1960s. This is where I turn when the ultimate terroir-driven tradition of Brunello is in my crosshairs.
The bright red cherry, graphite, licorice, tobacco, and leather notes really jump out from Costanti much more than at neighboring addresses. There's an unadulterated quality of Sangiovese here that's earned them so many loyal collectors over the years. Today, bottles from the '60s are still sought after for their freshness and delicacy.
Since 1983, it's been Andrea Costanti who's presided over operations. While Brunello's reputation has skyrocketed in his time, the vineyard holdings (10 hectares) and production (around 4,000 bottles) have remained fixed. The profound admiration for tradition was more evident visiting Costanti than any other estate during my trip.
Costanti's vineyards sit at 450 meters, extremely high in the greater region and key to the cool-fruited, subtle, and wildly nuanced Sangiovese born here. The soil is predominately galestro, a prized high calcium mix of decomposed shale, limestone, and clay. It easily breaks in your hand, a reminder of what's happening deep below the topsoil where these old vines can dig quite deep in search of water and nutrients—in turn also endowing superb concentration to these wines.
All of the vineyard holdings here are designated as Brunello di Montalcino, and a decision to bottle Rosso di Montalcino is strictly one of declassification. Fermentation takes place over three weeks with daily pump-overs. Large botti are used for aging, and the wines are bottled unfiltered and un-fined.