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Altesino

In one of the most famous wine territories of Tuscany - Montalcino - Altesino has always been distinguished for its Brunello, however the production is completed with other and interesting wines

 Among the many wines from Tuscany, the ones who made particularly renowned this region of central Italy are the ones produced in the central part of the region, the one going from Florence to the whole province of Siena. In these areas it is the Sangiovese grape to dominate the scene in vineyards: the excellent red berried grape - in its many clonal varieties - is practically present in every red wine. No matter in Tuscany Sangiovese grape is blended with other grapes - local and international - therefore producing different wine styles, this grape is capable of giving its very best - and probably above all - when it is being vinified alone. One of the renowned areas in Tuscany, where the Sangiovese is practically the only grape found in vineyards, is Montalcino, the picturesque town in the province of Siena and famous all over the world for its most illustrious son: Brunello di Montalcino.


The entrance of Altesino winery
The entrance of Altesino winery

 Brunello - the name with which it is known in Montalcino the Sangiovese Grosso and from which it is named the famous wine - is produced only with this grape and its notoriety is today so high that only telling this name can evoke in every wine lover's mind the image of a great wine. This superb wine has been capable of resisting to the many “invasions' of other and renowned grapes: Brunello di Montalcino has always been exclusively produced, and it is still produced, with Sangiovese Grosso - or Brunello, the name with which this grape is known in its homeland - and frankly speaking it would be pretty disappointing to think about other grapes used for the production of this wine, not only for a purely traditional point of view, but also - and above all - for a reason of typicality and identifiability.

 One of the wineries of Tuscany which have always been distinguished for the production of Brunello di Montalcino is Altesino. The winery is located north-east from Montalcino and the estate is of about 64 hectares (about 158 acres). Altesino is owned since 2002 by Mrs. Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini and the technical and productive management is supervised by wine maker Pietro Rivella. The winery has always been involved in the production of high quality wines, in particular Brunello di Montalcino, whose production and aging processes are done, according to strict wine making standards, in the cellars of the winery. Altesino acquired its fame as a quality wine producer thanks to its Brunellos, in particular Brunello di Montalcino Riserva and Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli.


The aging cellar
The aging cellar

 The vineyards of the winery are spread over an area of about 27 hectares (about 66 acres) and are divided in three sub zones and precisely: Altesino, La Velona and Montosoli. Among these three sub zones, Montosoli has always been distinguished for its capacity of producing extremely elegant wines and, it is not by chance, one of the most celebrated Altesino's Brunello di Montalcino is produced with grapes from this area. The fermentation room and the cellar are situated in the structures of the Altesi Palace - a historical building of the fourteenth century, as it is witnessed by the emblem and the plate found just above the entrance door - whereas barriques used for the aging of Palazzo Altesi and Alte d'Altesi wines are located in specific temperature controlled rooms which are also property of the winery.

 Besides Sangiovese Grosso, which represents the main grape cultivated in the estates of the winery and used for the production of Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino and Palazzo Altesi, in Altesino's vineyards are also cultivated the red berried grapes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot - both used together with Sangiovese Grosso for the production of Alte d'Altesi - and white berried grapes Chardonnay, Trebbiano Toscano e Malvasia, used for the production of Bianco Altesino and the superb Vin Santo. At the head of every row of vines has been planted a bush of roses as a symbol of respect and care for the work done in vineyards. Despite the winery is strongly convinced of the respect of the strict traditions for the production of Brunello, Altesino's technical manager and wine maker, Claudio Basla, has dedicated many years in the experimentation in cellar by making use of French oak and blending the many varieties of grapes. This process of research has led to the production of innovative wines such as Alte d'Altesi and Palazzo Altesi - the two Altesino's Super Tuscans - as well as Rosso di Altesino.


 

 The most representative wines of Altesino certainly are the Brunellos, in particular Brunello di Montalcino Riserva - exclusively produced in the best years - and Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli. The former wine is produced with grapes cultivated in the Altesino and Montosoli vineyards whereas the latter with grapes exclusively cultivated in the vineyard from which it takes its name. The style of Altesino's Brunello is characterized by typical and pleasing aromas of violet, black berried fruits and elegant aromas passed by the aging in wood, full bodied as well as elegant. Also very interesting it is Alte d'Altesi - a blend of Sangiovese Grosso, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in equal parts - full bodied and elegant. Also Palazzo Altesi - the other Altesino's Super Tuscan is exclusively produced with Sangiovese Grosso - it can be appreciated for its good and complex aromas and for its full body. A special mention should certainly be awarded to Vin Santo d'Altesi, a wonderful and superb sweet wine produced with Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Toscana, enchanting for its never ending and charming aromas which are perfectly confirmed by taste - sweet and velvety - a poetry which almost seems to be heavenly.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Palazzo Altesi 2000, Altesino (Italy)
Palazzo Altesi 2000
Altesino (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 15,00 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of dried violet and dried plum followed by aromas of black cherry, blueberry, blackberry, licorice, tobacco, vanilla and hints of chocolate. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however well balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, good tannins, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum, black cherry and blackberry. A well made wine. Palazzo Altesi ages for about 12 months in barrique and for 3 months in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Brunello di Montalcino 1999, Altesino (Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino 1999
Altesino (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 19,00 Score:
This wine shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of blueberry, dried violet, tobacco, licorice, chocolate, vanilla and hints of earthy. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. A well made wine. This Brunello di Montalcino ages for 4 years in cask followed by 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Game, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Alte d'Altesi 2001, Altesino (Italy)
Alte d'Altesi 2001
Altesino (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Price: € 15,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of black currant, tobacco, licorice, violet, bell pepper, vanilla and hints of menthol and clove. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however well balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and black currant. A well made wine. Alte d'Altesi ages for 12-14 months in barrique followed by 3 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Game, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 1999, Altesino (Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 1999
Altesino (Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 35,00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean and pleasing aromas that start with hints of plum jam and black cherry jam followed by aromas of blackberry, tobacco, licorice, dried violet, vanilla, chocolate and hints of pink pepper and underbrush. In the mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a slightly tannic attack and however balanced, full body, intense flavors, good tannins. The finish is persistent with flavors of plum jam and black cherry jam. This Brunello di Montalcino ages for 4 years in cask followed by 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Braised and stewed meat, Game, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Colli dell'Etruria Centrale Vin Santo d'Altesi 1996, Altesino (Italy)
Colli dell'Etruria Centrale Vin Santo d'Altesi 1996
Altesino (Italy)
Grapes: Trebbiano Toscano, Malvasia Toscana
Price: € 30,00 - 375ml Score: Wine that excels in its category
This wine shows a deep amber yellow color and nuances of amber yellow, transparent. The nose reveals good personality with intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with good hints of fig jam and caramel followed by aromas of candied fruit, leather, almond, dried apricot, hazelnut, walnut, dried plum, honey, vanilla and hints of enamel. In the mouth has very good correspondence to the nose, a round attack with pleasing crispness, well balanced, full bodied, intense flavors, caressing and velvety. The finish is persistent with flavors of fig jam, dried plum, walnut and caramel. A well made wine. This Vin Santo ages for 5-7 years in small casks followed by 4 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Piquant cheese, Confectionery, Dried fruits tarts and desserts



Altesino - Loc. Altesino, 54 - 39018 Torrenieri di Montalcino, Siena (Italy) - Tel. +39 577 806208 Fax +39 577 806131 - Winemaker: Pietro Rivella - Established: 1970 - Production: 200.000 bottles - E-Mail: info@altesino.it - WEB: www.altesino.it


 Wine Tasting  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 20, June 2004   
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Cellar Journal


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