WE 97 / Decanter 94 / WA 93 pts
WE: Andrea Costanti didn’t produce a Riserva in 2017, and so all of that juice was used to try to bolster the Brunello. Extremely elegant and focused, this compelling wine defies the heat of the vintage, starting with a heady fragrance of ripe dark-skinned berries, violet, camphor, dark spice and whiffs of crushed herbs. On the linear, elegantly structured palate, tightly woven but extremely polished tannins accompany juicy Marasca cherry, blood orange, licorice and white pepper while fresh acidity keeps it balanced and fresh.
Decanter : Andrea Costanti has crafted an appetising and characterful 2017, expressive without being over-exuberant or pushed. He reports doing more extraction than usual, with extended post-fermentation macerations as skins were thick and healthy. The tannins are textured and gritty without being green or bitter. While this doesn’t have the profoundness of 2016 or the silkiness of 2015 there is much charm in its vigour. Polished wood, subtle smoke, plum and bay leaf emerge from a backdrop of dry, dusty earth while concentrated acidity keeps it vibrant. One of the stars of the vintage.
WA: The Conti Costanti 2017 Brunello di Montalcino is nicely layered and concentrated, with an immediate delivery of black fruit, spice and potting soil. This vintage shows a savory personality more than it shows a sweet one, and the tannins are quite soft and velvety. This is an open-knit Brunello from a hot and dry vintage to drink in the medium-term.