Friday, May 24, 2013

New Release Rosso

The more I tasted through and enjoyed the 2009 Rossos from Montalcino, the more I realized how uniformly great the vintage was going to be.  As I interviewed and emailed with various winemakers, the more I kept hearing "wait and see how great 2010 is."
The 2010's are beginning to show up at retail, so I popped the cork on one that's widely available and reasonably priced.  The 2010 Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino has a pretty medium violet color.  A slightly purple hue surrounds the rim. It's very pretty.  I poured a bit from the bottle as we were making dinner and initially, the wine was closed and seemingly very lean on the palate. 
However, after about 30 minutes the aromatics blossomed significantly.  It's very elegant and pretty to smell with lots of pepper, raspberry and fresh flowers on the nose.  On the palate, the primary core of raspberry fruit plumped up significantly with air.  There's lots of spice on the palate as well and a pretty fresh sage note.  This is really nice and the aroma is gorgeous.   I would certainly decant future bottles for about 30 minutes.  It will definitely enhance the enjoyment.  90 points, about $18.

Take some patience and decant this Rosso for 30 minutes before serving


  1. John, it appears that you liked the 2009 just a little better!

    1. I hadn't looked. :) It's certainly possible. I love 2009.

  2. 2011's not bad either John if Baricci's superb Rosso 2011 is anything to go by. Some other good 2010s I've tried- Mastrojanni, Paradiso di Frassina, Ciacci Piccolomini, Campogiovanni (San Felice)

    Banfi hmmm....the antithesis of everything Montalcino should be about imo, massive internationally owned, industrial scale producer in a land of the small local artisan, I avoid them like the plague!

  3. Adam, I hear this argument about Banfi all the time. However, their Brunello are made in very small quantity (Poggio Alle Mura & Poggio All'Oro) Their Summus is also very small production. I don't think the overall size of a producer should be held against them. No one makes that argument about Mondavi, Antinori, or Lafite Rothschild. I would wager that Lafite makes more Bordeaux than Banfi makes Brunello. ?? I have had the 2010 Mastrojanni as well and it's excellent. 2011 I'm not hearing great things about. It seems like it will be a step down from '09 and '10.

  4. John, you make some fair points, however, Banfi's standard Brunello production of 700,000 bottles is absolutely enormous by Montalcino standards, and even Poggio alle Mura (60,000) and Poggio all'Oro (50,000) are not small compared to the vast majority of Brunello producers. It's not so much the size itself that puts me off, just I much prefer to support the small local artisan who has an authenticity about them, and the wines tend to have more character. That is not to say I immediately dismiss big producers. Mastrojanni is of course, now owned by Illy coffee, although standards have not slipped, and the day to day operation has not changed. San Felice are also quite a big producer, but I think have a care and consistency across their range. I don't actually think Banfi's Brunellos are very good (or not to my taste), even compared to other big (although still much smaller than Banfi) producers in Montalcino like Col d'Orcia and Il Poggione, who I think are very good... and compared to small artisans like Fuligni, Il Marroneto, Baricci, Manfredi, they are not even close imo.

    Regarding Bordeaux, I really wouldn't have a clue, I'm mostly Italy-centric when it comes to wine! I do very much enjoy the odd bit of Alsace, Loire and Burgundy, but I'm mostly all about Italy, especially Tuscany.
    Anyway John, feel free to ignore my rambling, it's your blog after all, it's nice we can have a frank exchange of views, hopefully without any falling out about it :), I very much enjoy reading your blog, keep up the great work!

  5. No worries Adam. I think your bottle numbers are off though. The PaM and PaO bottles are in 6 packs only? Did I you convert the #'s? Just curious. And always speak your mind. I enjoy many of Banfi's wines and many of the others you mention. It makes the world go round amico. :)

  6. Adam, I picked up som new erases today from Toscana. Coming soon.