Castello Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (Tuscany, Italy) Poggio all’Oro 2007 ($140, Cru Artisan Wines): When Castello Banfi purchased land and established a winery in Montalcino in the late 1970s, the locals nervously joked that they would ruin Brunello’s reputation by bottling it under screw top — they were (and still are) the USA importer of Riunite. The locals’ anxiety turned out to be misplaced. Banfi invested enormously in Montalcino over the subsequent decades, carrying out tedious research to determine which clones of Sangiovese do best in the area — and then sharing the information with the other producers. The results of that research are now bearing fruit, both literally and figuratively. Banfi produces four Brunello — two “normal” ones, one of which is labeled simply Brunello di Montalcino and the other one from their Poggio alle Mura vineyard, and two Riservas, one from their Poggio alle Mura vineyard and this one, their flagship, from their best vineyard, Poggio all’Oro. The Poggio all’Oro Riserva is always the pick of the litter, but requires more cellaring. The 2007 Poggio all’Oro is simply gorgeous with slightly more elegance, minerality and captivating silky texture than the excellent Poggio alle Mura Reserva from the same year. The flavors explode and persist on the palate, yet the wine is not flamboyant. It’s balanced and suave. This fabulous young Brunello needs a decade in the cellar to reveal the complexity that is lurking beneath the surface. It will be worth the wait.
98 Michael Apstein Aug 26, 2014
Date posted: September 2, 2014