Castello Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy) Poggio Alle Mura Riserva 2007 ($80): Castello Banfi has been — and remains — a leader in Montalcino, specifically refining and raising the profile of one of Italy’s finest wines, Brunello di Montalcino. They are one of the largest and best producers in the region and have devoted tons of money and done decades of research to determine which clones of Sangiovese do best in the region. (With an unprecedented sense of good will, Banfi shared the results of their result with other producers). Planted in 1992, the Poggio Alle Mura vineyard is the result of their clonal research. The production from that vineyard continues to evolve, first with Poggio Alle Mura Brunello, then a Rosso di Montalcino from that vineyard in 2010, and now with this, their first Riserva, an explosive wine. It has the marvelous seamless combination of spice and dark fruit flavors. As you’d expect from a refined wine, nothing shouts at you. An intriguing almost tarry quality in the finish reminds you that this is a top-flight Brunello. Firm, polished tannins support the tightly wound and ever-changing layers of ripe and yet savory flavors. Though enjoyable now if you decant it a couple of hours before dinner, I’d suggest a better use for it will be in five to ten years, so put it in the cellar now.
95 Michael Apstein Oct 14, 2014
Date posted: October 21, 2014