Why do I have a wine cellar? People ask me this all the time. It has come up more times than I can recollect and yet I never get weary of answering the question. Wine lovers, wine geeks, wine aficionados, are surely special, if not unique, creatures. I would suspect most of us have roots in “collecting” somewhere down our personal lineage. Whether it be comic books, models, baseball cards, barbie dolls or something else (read: Philately) I think the seeds of collecting and retaining something for future enjoyment begin in our youth.
Wine is a unique beverage. It’s an agricultural product. It’s very success depends upon the vagaries of nature and the whim of the winemaker who carefully acts as a devoted custodian. Each year is different. This is not coke, or beer, or even homogeneous White Zinfandel. This is a crafted, artisan product that can remind you of place, people, and time: history. And wine evolves. Like no other beverage, wine is a living, breathing product that changes as it matures. Like an immature child, so full of rambunctious, almost careless energy that slowly sheds that nature to become a young man and then a stately, suave gentleman.
The confluence of these two characteristics is what makes wine special and there’s no way to experience any of it without a wine cellar. So as I reached to pull out the subject of today’s article from the depths of my cache, I couldn’t help but smile as I wiped the mold from the label. It may seem gross to some, but to me, it was a tip toe through tulips. And besides, it was what’s in the bottle that counts.
|~ Veal Roast wrapped in bacon, stuffed with herbs and surrounded by Yukon Gold potatoes ~|
The 2009 Castello Banfi Summus is 40% Sangiovese Grosso, 35% Cabernet, 25% Syrah and 100% impressive.
It’s dark purple in the glass and despite it’s increasing age, looks as dark as the first time I enjoyed it. The always enticing aromas lift from the glass. Crushed berries, new leather, tobacco, smoke and mint are gorgeous. The aromas are sharp, and laser focused yet retain a sense of seamlessness that makes the entire experience harmonic.
On the palate, the wine is full bodied, mouth wateringly juicy and ripe, with refreshing acidity that provides lift and depth to the fruit flavors. There’s cocoa dust, stones and earth on the back palate and a smokey-meaty aspect to the wine that is very enjoyable – clearly this is the increased Syrah percentage asserting itself. This is a Cellared gem and an experience you do not get opening a wine the day you bring it home from the Wine Shop. You just don’t. And although it takes patience that admittedly, I don’t always have, I am more often than not rewarded when I exercise the virtue. 95 points and a relative bargain around $55.
|~ I geek out on the label ~|
September 13, 2016