The above photo, a random image from Tuscany, is filled with cypress and olive trees, vineyards, rosemary and wild herbs. It’s a typical view from atop a hill town but it encompasses much of what is great about Tuscany – much of what feeds the soul. Bucolism (is that a word?) Well, I’m making it one. Bucolism – the love for things Bucolic – is alive and comforting. And it’s that feeling that reminded me of today’s wine.
Centine was created long ago. Long before the internet, let alone blogs or wine discussion forums. Long before myriad producers, importers and retailers began using that awful term “baby Super Tuscan” and long before I honed my palate on “more sophisticated” wines. And even as I type that, I stick my pinky in the air.
Despite all those years, bottles, corks and aqua under the ponte, Centine, however reinvented and redefined, remains the liquid form of the above picture. Comforting. Nurturing. The essence of Bucolism. And while it would be lovely to drink Brunello, Chianti Riserva and Super Tuscans each and every night, it’s not reality for most and everyone needs a good “Rosso della Casa to bridge the gap. After all, were it not for the simple pleasures, a wine drinkers greater indulgences would be reduced to something more ordinary.
The 2013 Castello Banfi Centine is everything you’d hope for in a wine that you can likely purchase for $10. Vinified in stainless steel, this pleasing blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot is generous with its bright fruit, spice, herb and soft vanilla aromas and flavors. Bottled approximately 6 months after harvest, it spends only the briefest time in oak barrique – just enough to lend an appropriate amount of structure and a slight toasty complexity. Fresh and tasty on its own and with a variety of foods, we enjoyed it with Panzanella Salad and Pasta with Ceci and Toasted Breadcrumbs. Reliable and a great go to. 87 points. About $10 retail. Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.
|~ Beautiful color here. Centine is a blend of mostly Sangiovese, with additions of Cabernet and Merlot ~