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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.
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Originally posted by ISOLF:
I was under the impression that the ambient temperature was slightly too warm to serve reds. Obviously the difference between 72 and 65 is minimal. Are you saying that you find that it is relatively insignificant?

I find that at temps above 72 red wines start showing the alcohol more. Your point is a good one. Sometimes I do chill a red.
I just had this same discussion with my father and has found that he hasn't enjoyed red wine very much the last few years. He finds the alcohol dominates the flavor of the reds. A real shame considering he lives in Tuscany. I should suggest he tries chilling the reds slightly. I still can't find a way to keep red slightly chilled while still at the table. Perhaps a bucket of cool water. A while back I saw a decanter that had a small pocket for ice in it. Sort of like you would see in a sake set. Anyone tried this?
Last edited by isolf
Thanks for the great notes LB. This must have been a great night!

It makes clear to me what I have been missing by not spending any time here over the past few months. Way to busy... Frown

As you know Costanti is one of my favourite producers. I love the classic BdM character wich always marked by balance and refinement almost regardless of the vintage.


2006 Riserva- Maybe the best wine from Andrea since the 2001 Riserva.

Couldn't agree more!

These notes I took last summer while visiting Montalcino:
  • 2006 Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino (6/9/2012)
    Montalcino visit June 2012; 8-6-2012-10-6-2012 (Montalcino): This is how I like my Brunello: refined and complex! And this wine was quite approachable right now, where other '06 seem to be closing down already.
    Medium ruby color. Expressive aromas of cherry, fresh berries some blackcurrant and leather and some floral hints. Following trough full bodied with layers of silky tannins against a strong backbone of acidity and balanced fruit. The finish seems to keep going on for ever!
    This wine comes close to the '01 riserva, which is one of my favorites of this house. It has a long life ahead and will develop more complexity over time (95+ pts?). Drink 2016 - 2031. (95 pts.)
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