|~ Sloping Vineyards leading to Castello Banfi ~|
I can’t think of a better descriptor than Towering Elegance. To me, it relates both strength and grace. “Forte con calma”. I’ve been a lover of Summus for well over a decade and have tasted every vintage produced several times over. It’s a wine hand crafted in only the best vintages and although the blend has seen some changes over the years, the wine encompasses the true spirit of the Super Tuscan concept.
Sourced from hillside estate vineyards on the southern slopes of Montalcino, the vineyards that produce the fruit for Summus sit between 120-250 meters above sea level. The Sangiovese vines are at the highest altitude while the Cabernet and Syrah vines are lower. The varying altitudes allow ideal maturation for each variety, a concept that is especially important in retaining Sangiovese’s aromatic character and maintaining it’s fresh acidity.
|~ Primi: Pappardelle sul coniglio ~|
The three varieties are vinified separately in Castello Banfi’s specialized hybrid oak/steel fermentors and then aged in French barrique separately for 12 months. Once blended, aging continues in oak for another 8-10 months before 6-12 months final bottle aging.
What I find unique about this wine is it’s ability to develop and change with cellaring. Phrased like that, it may not sound special or unique. However, in its youth, Summus is typically dominated by the Cabernet in the blend. It’s very difficult to ascertain that the wine is 40% Sangiovese. But as the wine ages, the Cabernet mellows and the Sangiovese rises to the fore, with a smokey accent from the Syrah. It’s something I’ve observed consistently in these wines.
|~ Secondi: Slow Roasted Lamb Shank ~|
Recently, we enjoyed an amazing dinner courtesy of the folks at Fiorinos and enjoyed the newest release of Summus with a variety of excellent dishes.
The 2012 Castello Banfi Summus was decanted immediately before serving and displayed a deep impenetrable purple color. Shy at first on the nose, as the dinner progressed black fruit aromas were joined by tobacco and mint. As I mentioned, the wine is dominated now by the Cabernet. On the palate, the black fruits coat with incredible grace. This is smooth, suave and absolutely elegant. Full bodied, the mint comes through on the finish where the fine grained tannins appear. Fresh and lively, this is well balanced and delicious. Will easily cellar 10+ years and this will be very interesting to watch evolve. 94 points. About $60 retail.
|~ Summus is a blend of 40% Sangiovese Grosso, 40% Cabernet and 20% Syrah ~|
December 15, 2016