I had the distinct pleasure of drinking 6 vintages of Costanti wines this past week while in Boston. The vintages ranged from 1975 to 2006. Fortunately, all wines showed well with none flawed.
1975 Normale- Some typical funk upon opening. Allowed to Slow-O for 3 hours. Clear ruby in color with some bricking at the rim. Once the funk blew off this wine was violets in a bottle. Had I not known this was brunello I would have thought it was a burgundy. Sweet fruit on the palate. The finish was a little short. A real treat.
1983 Riserva- Again Slow-O'ed for 3 hours. Darker ruby color with very little bricking. Red plums, with pronounced truffle aromas. Nice acidity with less fruit than the '75. More mushroom and earthy flavors. Savory. An excellent wine that is drinking well now.
1985 Normale- The '85s have always been my favorite BdM vintage. This wine was no exception. Ruby colored with no bricking. Beautiful nose of roses, anise, and leather. Sweet red fruits on the palate and a finish that goes on for over 60 seconds. I enjoyed this wine over the entire evening and it never faded.
1988 Riserva- I have had this wine over a half dozen times. All have been enjoyable but this one was extra special. Perfect provenance since it came directly from Costanti's cellars. Perfect fill. Upon opening the nose exploded with violets and Christmas spices. The color was more garnet with a hint of orange at the rim. Sweet, pure fruit and perfectly balanced acidity and silky tannins that enhanced the wine. Long finish that coated every inch of your mouth. A truly exceptional wine.
2006 Normale- Garnet in color. The nose was very expressive for such a young wine. This bottle was opened for about 6 hours before the first sip was taken and I am sure this contributed to the wine being more open than would be expected. As you swirled the glass, floral aromas were predominant. Less tannic than I would have expected with red fruits and spices on the palate. A very nice wine that is drinking well right now with enough air.
2006 Riserva- Maybe the best wine from Andrea since the 2001 Riserva. This wine has everything in perfect balance - fruit, acidity, ripe tannins. Although a baby, the potential is definitely there for a great example of Brunello. I had tasted this with Andrea at the estate last November. The wine was excellent then but even better now. Long finish and I can't wait to see how it evolves over the next 20-30 years.
This was a special evening with some serious winos. A great opportunity to taste wines from someone I consider to be one of the best winemakers in the world. Nothing we tasted this evening changed my mind.