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Producer profile: Conti Costanti

One of the longest-established families in Montalcino...

Producer profile: Conti Costanti

The Costanti have owned land at Montalcino since the 16th century, which makes them one of the longest-established families in the village.

I am indebted to the current owner of the estate, Andrea Costanti, a geology graduate, for his patient explanations of the complexities of the soils of Montalcino.

Soil, exposition and, above all, elevation are the bottom line in Montalcino.

Costanti’s soils are lean, Cretaceous marls.

The vines grow on southeast-facing slopes 440m above sea level, a height in the past considered the absolute limit for Sangiovese, but which in a period of global warming is transpiring to be a boon.

The estate is on the crest immediately to the north of Il Greppo and the wines have a similar intensity and savoury firmness to those of Costanti’s neighbour Biondi Santi.

Costanti’s winemaking respects the terroir and the natural character of wines from a cooler area, aiming at long, slow evolution in the bottle rather than immediate impact.

For drinking now, I’d recommend not opening anything younger than the 2007. The 2006 Riserva still hasn’t peaked; the 2004 Riserva is absolutely splendid.

Richard Baudains is the regional chair for Veneto in the Decanter World Wine Awards.

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