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Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2001

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • WS93
  • WE91
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Winemaker Notes

Brunello di Montalcino was Italy's first wine to be accorded D.O.C.G. status, a testament to its aristocracy, balance and fabulous proclivity for aging. Under the direction of master winemakers, Banfi's Sangiovese grapes are transformed into a remarkable world-class wine, perhaps the most respected red of Italy.

Aged for a total of up to four years, including a minimum of two years in oak barrels, Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino is a wine of robust character. It possesses a rich garnet color, and a depth, complexity and opulence that is softened by an elegant, lingering aftertaste.

Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino's regal qualities are best exhibited with game, red meats, roasts, hearty stews and rich powerful cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano.

Critical Acclaim

WS 93
Wine Spectator

WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

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Banfi

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 hospitality center, hosting visitors at a full service restaurant, enoteca and museum dedicated to the history of glass and its relation to wine.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular and age-worthy wines at its best. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

MLNBANFBRU_2001 Item# 89954

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