Friday, March 6, 2009

BelnerO: The New Wine from Castello Banfi

Yesterday, I had the privilege of tasting BelnerO 2005, the new wine from famed Tuscan producer Castello Banfi, at a lunch at the Sub-Zero showroom in Manhattan that was hosted by Christina Mariani-May, Co-CEO of Banfi. It was a wonderful way to showcase the wine, as those of us in attendance were able to both sample it on its own and enjoy it alongside food that had been specifically prepared to pair well with it...

The wine itself is the result of extensive research into both Sangiovese (which is the dominant grape variety in the wine, spruced up with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and the terroir of the Castello Banfi estate. The result of all that labor--beautifully documented in Banfi's new book, "The Pursuit of Excellence"--is a wine that has both the potential to age as well as the ability to enhance a meal right now.

On the nose, I found aromas of leather and cherry, along with a solid note of cracked black pepper. The wine's presence on the palate, though, is what really won me over, its silky tannins and perfectly calibrated acid framing the darker cherries, cedar, and flowers beautifully. I've always been a big fan of Castello Banfi's wines, particularly their various Super Tuscans and Brunello di Montalcinos, and the BelnerO is a stellar addition to their already exceptional line-up of offerings.


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