2016 is a monumental year for Altesino, an address we have been following for a very long time and even had the opportunity to taste at their picturesque facility a few years back. 2016 is a golden vintage throughout Italy, and Altesino capitalized on mother nature's graces. Intense, complex, and structured with an impressive and delicious core of fruit. The 2016 Riserva is being released after spending six years in the cellar as Italian law requires. It is a limited production only made in vintages that are deemed worthy, and while the 2016 "Normale" had a bit more upfront appeal, this is a classically made sleeping giant that will prove its greatness with time in the bottle. Galloni points this out in his review below, which is why his score is a bit conservative.
2016 has the potential to be one of the best Riservas ever from Altesino, and at the moment, we have the only bottles available of this new release in the USA.
Antonio Galloni 94+ points! "The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is so incredibly dark and inward that it prompted me to open a second bottle just to confirm that impression. After an hour, the bouquet started to come to life, with hints of menthol and mint giving way to nuances of black currant and animal tones. It’s much more expressive on the palate, where silky textures are cooled by vibrant acids, and tart wild berry fruits mix with salty minerals and inner violet florals. The 2016 is long and structured, showing balsam herbs, black licorice and a flourish of inner sweetness. This is such an interesting showing as, other than the bouquet, all of the ingredients are here and well proportioned for a long, steady evolution. I’m very intrigued to see where this understated beauty is going over time. Until then, I chose to remain somewhat conservative."
Decanter (Michaela Morris) 94 points! "Like its sister estate – the nearby Caparzo – Altesino boasts vineyards in different sectors of Montalcino. The Riserva blends fruit from southern vineyards near Sant’Angelo in Colle and Castelnuovo dell’Abate with northerly plots, including Montosoli. Pretty yet restrained, this leads with floral fragrances of pressed violet and rose, then progresses to eucalypt and brushwood. It sits gracefully on the palate. Long, silky tannins build with powdery structure. Though the wine gains density, it ultimately expresses elegance over power. Its distinguishing characteristic in 2016 is a pleasant bitterness that recalls cocoa and quinine. Very mouth-cleansing."