The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Lisini and Altesino

Posted on | June 23, 2015 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoIt’s the first week of summer and that means it’s time for big weekend diners that feature grilled meat. I love Brunello for big meals, and it’s always good to have a couple of Brunello with some age that are drinking well on hand. Today I focus on two stellar producers, Lisini and Altesino, whose wines would be welcome at any table.

Lisini is located in the southern part of Montalcino near the town of Sant’Angelo in Colle. The vineyards sit approximately 350 meters above sea level, a location that allows for a particular microclimate that is very different from other parts of Montalcino. In this southern area there is less rainfall and fog than in the other parts of Montalcino, and the soil is rich in clay and iron, traits that are expressed in the wine. Founded in the mid-sixteenth century, the Lisini estate takes meticulous care with its vines, doing all work by hand and without chemical intervention. Altesino lies not far from Siena and it makes some of Montalcino’s most sought-after wines. Founded in 1972 by Giulio Consonno, the winery was the first in the region to introduce the concept of single-vineyard crus in 1975, and it was also the first Brunello winery to experiment with French barrique.

Lisini 1997 Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia $169.00

This 1997 Brunello is deep, dark and concentrated—and it lacked the brick rim that I was expecting. The nose is full of dark fruit, plum, spice, earth and mushroom, along with some black licorice and hints of orange peel. In the back end hide notes of sweet cherry. On the palate, the tannins integrate beautifully with the fruit, leading to a silky, lingering finish. This Brunello Ugolia derives from fruit obtained from a 7.3-acre vineyard planted in 1978. This is a wine that will continue to open and give you different layers as you sip. Drink now.

Altesino 2001 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva $119.99

This wine is all about elegance. Unlike the Lisini, this ’01 was touched with a bit more brick than I expected it to. On the nose there are some cedar notes that mingle nicely with bright berries, a touch of earth, mushroom and tobacco. The wine’s smooth tannins have integrated perfectly with the fruit and acidity, and this ’01 Brunello Riserva offers a nice mouth-coating finish. The Altesino Riserva macerates for 15 days and is aged in Slavonian oak barrels (ranging from 10 to 20 years of age) for four-and-a-half years, followed by an additional six months in bottle prior to release. Drink now and for the next five years.

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