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Conti Constani
With much of Italian fine wine, the best bottles come from relatively young estates. Tenuta dell' Ornellaia for example, planted in just 1982, or Azienda Salvioni, planted in 1989 are just two examples that come to mind. Not so with Conti Constani. The second oldest wine estate in Tuscany, this family has enough history to rival even the best Bordeaux.
Constani by name, consistent by nature
With over four centuries of history, at 25-hectares (and just 12 of those vineyards), the estate is surprisingly petite. It may be small but boy is it perfectly formed. Springing to fame in the 19th-century, Tito Constanti was a forerunner in seeing the Brunello grape’s potential. Note: Brunello is the local name for the clone of the Sangiovese grape, also the only grape permitted in order to have a DOCG appellation. In fact, there is a record that Tito Costanti bottled some of the 1865 vintage for an exhibition in 1867, but sadly no bottles remain.

Today the estate is owned and run by former geologist Andrea Costanti, who took over from his uncle, Count Emilio, in 1983. Still very young, Andrea took to running the estate like a duck to water, his geology experience giving him the edge over his competitors in understanding how best to use the lean, Cretaceous marl, soils to his best advantage. This has been even more challenging, considering Conti Constani’s terroir is over 400m above sea level. Consultant oenologist Vittorio Fiore has improved Conti Constani’s reputation further, and the estate produces beautiful, rich Brunello di Montalcino that despite their altitude and the region’s very hot summers and very cold winters, are consistent in taste and quality.
Fine wine investors, take note!
This is still quite an under-the-radar producer, which is happy news for the savvy fine wine investor. The cooler altitude results in wines of supreme elegance with a fine structure and underlying power. Very reasonably priced (expect to pay around €150 for the superb 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG), the incredibly compelling price-quality ratio has yet to be picked up by other wine investment agencies. Surprising, as all six of Conti Costanti wines (two Brunellos, a Vermiglio and a Rosso di Montalcino, plus two Grappa di Brunellos), clearly represents a terrific value relative to their quality, history, reputation and availability in the market.