Dated back to the mid-1500s, The Costanti Family is one of the longest-established families and greatest producers of Brunello di Montalcino, second only to the famed house of Biondi-Santi. As Victor Hazan, one most renowned author of Italian Wine, elegantly phrased:
“No one has been able to come quite abreast of Biondi-Santi's prestige, at least as far as prestige is judged by price, but a few, some long-established in Montalcino, can make wine that is as impressive and, even more appealing. Foremost among them is Emilio Costanti, whose family has owned land in Montalcino for half a millennium”
Unfortunately, The Family did not manage the estate properly for a very long time. Until 1964, Emilio Costanti began to increase production and became one of the 1st Montalcino producers to bottle and sell Brunello. Nonetheless, the history of Conti Costanti making Brunello begins at roughly the same time as the history of Brunello. Today, Andrea Costanti has continued the family heritage and placed Conti Costanti as one of the very best estate in Montalcino.
THE VINEYARD AND CELLAR
The vineyards are sited 400 to 450 meters above sea level and vines range from 5 to 25 years old, producing between 30,000 and 35,000 bottles of Brunello a year from the 7 hectares of vineyard surrounding Colle al Matrichese, and between 10,000 and 20,000 bottles of Rosso from the same vineyards as well as from 1.3 hectares of Cabello Alto vineyard.
The cellar in fact is full of barrels of different sizes, barriques, tonneaux and botti. The 100% Sangiovese usually spends 12 months in 3 to 5 hectoliter tonneau oak. Following that first year, the wine is transferred to 30 hectoliter Slovenian oak for 2 years, after which it is bottle aged. Andrea prefers his wine to spend more time in the bottle, rather than aged in the wood for oxidizes.
The Costantis are an old Sienese family dating back to 1555, which makes them one of the longest-established families in the village. Today, the estate is managed by Andrea Costanti, who had inherited the estate from his uncle in the mid-1980s and worked hard to take it to its current position as one of the very best in Montalcino.
The estate is situated in Colle al Matrieche in the eastern zone of the Montalcino district and the 10 hectares of vineyards are located on a high ridge 400 metres above sea level. The vines grow on southeast-facing slopes 440m above sea level. Their Brunellos are typically backward, dense and fairly impenetrable in their youth. They require bottle ageing to show at their finest and, when fully mature, they are amongst the richest and most harmonious wines in the district, displaying copious amounts of dark cherry and blackberry fruit, bolstered by svelte and elegant tannins.
The land covers 25 hectares, divided into 12 ha of vineyards, 4 ha of olive groves and the rest is fallow land and woodland.
The vineyards are at an altitde of 310-400m. above sea level, and for these great care has gone into selecting the optional exposure.
The vines are Sangiovese known locally as Brunello and range from 6 to 25 years old. Three hectares have recently been planted with Merlot and Cabernet. The land is very poor organically though rich in lithoid components. Geologically it is galestro from cretacic era. Plant density varies from 3.333 to 5.500 vines per hectare.
The harvest usually takes place at the beginning of October.