Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Beautiful Dark One

Many Tuscan wineries produce monovarietal Super Tuscan wines.  Indeed, this is true whether the winery is from Bolgheri, Chianti Classico, or Montalcino.  Despite the wineries primary focus, I'm typically impressed by the quality of the Super Tuscan.  While my report on Casalferro yesterday seemed to indicate a winery that got it wrong, today's subject gets it right.

The 2009 Castello Banfi Belnero is a classy, refined red with wonderful aromatics and a broad, juicy palate.  Belnero, or "beautiful dark one" loosely translated, is an unspecified blend, but is almost entirely Sangiovese. 

In the glass, the wine is a dark crimson red with violet overtones.  At once the nose is redolent with crushed berries, flowers, and a lovely dusty "tuscan road dust".  It speaks of Tuscany, it evokes an image. On the palate, the wine carries itself broadly, with long lasting waves of crushed black cherry fruit, spicy, juicy and well delineated. It has a tinge of black olive and a tobacco like sweetness.  This is another, in the line of great 2009's I've had so far that portend a great vintage.  92 points. 

Now, what makes this wine more significant, is that I can toss an additional "bone" to locals reading this.  I've seen this wine in many retailers selling for about $28-35.  I've seen it on wine lists in fine restaurants for as much as $60.  Right now, in New Jersey, at the large state wide retailer "Bottle King", this wine is floor stacked and selling for $19.  This is Super Tuscan wine selling for a price lower than many Chianti Classico.  Back up the truck.....


2009 Castello Banfi Belnero


  1. John, you know I love this wine, but haven't seen the 2009 vintage yet.
    The picture is great!
    Salute to you!

  2. I have to admit that I wouldn't pay $28 for it, but at $19, it's a complete no brainer. For example, I love the Felsina Chianti Classico, but that wine is $22. The Fontodi is closer to $30. And further, there's not a single Rosso di Montalcino that can compete with this at this price.