A busy weekend came to a close with a relaxing dinner Saturday evening.  With the weather warming and wonderful basil turning up in farmer’s markets, it was time to make the classic Pesto Genovese.  My recipe for this wonderul pasta condimento was one of the first articles on this website and can be found here: Real Pesto! 
With assorted appetizers of green sicilian olives stuffed with gorgonzola, black pepper triscuits, and some crumbles of parmigiano reggiano, we started with a wonderful summer sipper; the 2011 Castello Banfi Le Rime.  Le Rime is 100% Pinot Grigio from estate grapes vinified completely in stainless steel.  The color is a medium straw with a lovely nose of citrus fruits, pineapple, and lemon rind.  In the mouth the wine is crisp and refreshing. It’s wonderful with the olives. Clean and pure, this will be great alone on the patio as an apperitif or paired to light summer fare.  Screw cap closure too.  Definitely a value.  87 points, about $8. 

2011 Castello Banfi Le Rime
With dinner, fresh baked bread, cheese, broccoli rabe, and rigatoni alla pesto genovese, we opened the 2004 La Rasina Brunello “Il Divasco”.  This is a single vineyard Brunello from the vineyard of the same name, but is not a Riserva bottling.  In the glass, the wine is a pretty, dark violet. The nose is effusive, with abundant aromas of blueberries and blackberries, flowers and toast.  On the palate the wine is rich and full bodied. The fruit in total domination at the moment with little tertiary complexity.  The oak is evident, but not overbearing and the acids are in balance. Substantial tannins assert themselves more on the finish without food, but with the meal, they were not as significant.  Still,  this is a wine to cellar.  I’d like to try it again when it’s 10 or 12 years old.  Delicious.  91 points.  About $40. 

2004 La Rasina Brunello di Montalcino – “Il Divasco”

 And a shot of the Pesto alla Genovese. 

Real Pesto:  Pesto alla Genovese

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