Second Label Wine's Reviews
25 reviews were found
Smooth & Supple
In honor of the Montalcino producer’s vote last week to maintain the integrity of the region’s Rosso wines (Baby Brunellos), we will review a wonderful bottle of Rosso from Banfi. The proposal put forward was to allow grapes other than Sangiovese into wines classified as Rosso di Montalcino which many, including myself, believe would defeat the entire purpose of having a Rosso wine at all. This Banfi Rosso is a firecracker with bright fresh cherries jumping out of the glass followed closely by plums and liquorish. It’s a bright, young wine that serves its purpose – to quench one’s thirst while its big brother is aging in the cellar. It’s a medium bodied wine with a medium finish, mild tannins and medium to high acid to compliment those tomatoes Kori talks about below. I would not hesitate to plop down $25 for this little guy any day of the week. It’s not particularly complex, but it’s well balanced and would be a great crowd pleaser at any gathering. Food Pairing Suggestions: I love Rosso di Montalcinos because many of them are affordable, high quality options to pour with one of my favorite ingredients – tomatoes. Sangiovese is really one of the only grapes that seem to have been created with tomatoes in mind. This Banfi is no exception and it cries out for a Classic Margherita Pizza. It’s not a fancy wine, so keep it simple. In fact, a slice from Sal and Carmine’s on the Upper West Side of Manhattan would fit the bill just fine. I love that place. In lieu of a visit to New York, any dish where tomatoes or tomato sauce is the key ingredient would work fine like lasagna or spaghetti marinara. Just be sure not to be too heavy handed with the spice. Keep it mild to medium and it will enhance the wine and the food.
Big & Bold
Tasting Notes: Even though a lot of people might cringe at a $47 second label wine, let me be the first to say that the 2007 Napanook is worth every penny. Consider it a special occasion wine, but just be sure to consider it. From Christian Moueix of Chateau Petrus fame in Bordeaux, this single-vineyard wine is bursting with freshness. The nose is heavenly with aromas of cherries, strawberries and blackberries that are still on the vine. There are also undertones of vanilla bean, caramel and liquorish. The taste is equally as impressive with more of the rich, concentrated vine-ripened qualities that make the wine seem incredibly alive. It’s got big, ripe tannins and needs at least an hour to decant, but it really shows what is possible with California Cabernet when it’s not manhandled in the winery. Food Pairing Suggestions: The Napanook is a very versatile wine that would go with a wide range of meats, but don’t complicate the seasoning. Just use salt and pepper, as any rubs or marinades run the risk of overpowering the wine. I could see this being a perfect pairing with short ribs braised in red wine. Also a rib eye steak cooked medium rare would be a great accompaniment. Even leaner meats would work well because of the wine’s balanced tannins. I would caution against excessive use of smoke as it will detract, but browning with a sear or crust would be just right.