Wine Advocate 93
Sporting a medium dark color, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is the most robust and powerful wine among these new releases from Altesino. More than its Riserva status (that requires an extra year of aging compared to base Brunello), that richness is a result of the dry and hot 2012 growing season. You really feel the tightness, blackness and the alcohol of the fruit here. By the way, the alcohol is 15%, so it is indeed high for Sangiovese. There is a note of cherry sweetness on the close. Thankfully, there is also enough natural acidity to bring the wine back to center and balance.
Altesino WineryView all from Altesino Winery
Though the worldwide reputation of Brunello has encouraged some conservatism among Montalcino estates, Altesino has always been a leader, unafraid of innovation. The estate pioneered the technique of aging its IGT wines in small French oak barrels, limiting the time spent in oak to enhance each wine's personality. The resulting wines were a groundbreaking improvement over those produced by traditional methods. No longer overwhelmed by wood, they were able to display the unique characteristics of the fruit, with softened tannins and perfect balance.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Altesino became the first Montalcino estate to introduce the concept of cru wines, made with a special selection of grapes from a single vineyard. Its Montosoli Brunello, named after the prestigious vineyard, was the first of these wines and is still considered among the regions finest. Altesino also pioneered the concept of Brunello futures (wine purchased before its release) with its 1985 vintage. This commitment to innovation led to many modern wines in the estates portfolio, including Alte d'Altesi, Palazzo Altesi and Rosso di Altesino. Elegance, finesse, and a fruitier, richer style are the trademarks of Altesino's wines and have earned the estate a position among the very top producers of Brunello. This achievement is even more impressive considering Brunello is perhaps the most recognized Italian appellation.