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Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2004

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • WS93
  • ST93
  • W&S92
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Winemaker Notes

Intense ruby red in color with garnet reflections. Aromas of violets and vanilla, with hints of licorice. Velvety palate, with tart-cherry flavors and traces of spice. Well structured with supple tannins, superb concentration, and good acidity. Persistent finish.

Critical Acclaim

WS 93
Wine Spectator

Has fabulous aromas of blackberry, black cherry and raspberry. Full-bodied, with wonderfully integrated tannins, fresh mushrooms and milk chocolate. Chewy in the end. We will see if this is better than the 2001 with age. Best after 2010.

ST 93
International Wine Cellar

Good full, deep red. Sexy nose offers bitter cherry, raspberry, rose petal and a whiff of marzipan. Juicy, sweet and enticing, with lovely elegance and energy to the flavors of red fruits and candied rose. Firm but harmonious tannins frame the palate-coating flavors without introducing any hardness. This suave Brunello really reverberates on the rising finish.

W&S 92
Wine & Spirits

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Castello Banfi

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Castello Banfi, , Italy
Banfi
In 1978 John and Harry Mariani, owners of the U.S. wine importer Banfi Vintners, established the award winning vineyard estate and winery Castello Banfi in the Brunello region of Tuscany. A constellation of single vineyards located on ideal sites cover about one third of the 7,100 acre (2,830 hectares) estate. The remaining land consists of bucolic meadows, olive and plum groves, and woodland. Central to the property is a medieval castle that functions as a... View More

Carmenere

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick...

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

In the Glass

If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

Sommelier Secret

Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.