A "Wine of the Vintage"
(Around Half the Price of Its Peers)
2006 Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino
How Many Accolades Can You Fit in a 92-Word Review?
"A dazzling wine. The aromatics alone are haunting...nearly indescribable elegance...totally complete, harmonious...shaping up to be one of the wines of the vintage."
- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate
While our 2006 Brunello campaign is nearing its end, having found this parcel of wine and then reading that, I knew this was an offer I didn't want to miss.
Particularly considering the Costanti family's looong history with Brunello. The Costantis were actually among the first to set up shop in Montalcino, way back in 1555, and they've been touting "traditional" Brunello since the middle 1800s.
Today, as the praise for the outstanding 2006 vintage seems to just keep coming, in tidal-wave force, the exuberant words "one of the wines of the vintage" seem to means a little something extra.
What "one of the wines of the vintage" does mean in 2006 is a standout among a group of great, great wines that are, as Tuscan critic James Suckling notes, "setting a new quality standard for Brunello producers, as well as their region at large." He calls 06 "THE greatest modern vintage for Sangiovese" thanks to these wines' incredible displays of power, rigor and intensity - all aligned with soaring aromatics, incredible freshness and energy, an undeniable elegance. These are downright compelling, honest and soulful wines that are renewing our faith in a region that frankly seemed to suffer a bit of an identity crisis in the last couple decades.
Conti Costanti, however, has had no such identity crisis. Today's proprietor, Andrea Costanti, took over the estate from his uncle in 1983 (he'd just barely finished university in Siena, where he studied geology, no doubt enhancing his understanding of his own terroir), and he's remained steadfast through the last three decades in his creation of traditional Brunellos that serve as benchmarks for the appellation.
These are pure, clearly articulated yet firm, age-minded Sangiovese - even somewhat austere in their youth, though recent vintages, and particularly the 06, are showing considerably more appealing fruit right up front, all the while maintaining their rigid structures. There's plenty of the grape's signature dark cherry fruit, backed with lots of leather, smoke, brushy spice and tobacco, all fixed in place by a tannic spine and an acidic current throughout. "Totally complete and harmonious," as Galloni says.
The 2006s, especially those crafted in this structured style, are also built for long-term aging, so if you're looking to enjoy this in the next few years, a long decant - and perhaps a hearty dinner of bone-marrow-buttered steak or medium-rare venison medallions - is strongly advised. Otherwise, there's no reason this Costanti shouldn't see its 20th birthday (and many more) out of a cool cellar nap. For a bit of reference, Bobby recently had Costanti's 1990, which is still formidable.
Again, the value that comes today along with this sort of longevity is very hard to beat, I don't care which category of wine or region you’re talking about.
I'm excited about the direction Brunello is moving in, and I believe that classic producers like Costanti are helping pave the way towards more sincere, character-driven, naturally beautiful wines that emphasize style with substance. The 2006 from Costanti is an exemplar of this.
Pricing is very sharp today, but it lasts only as long as this parcel. To place your order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits