Wines from the excellent 2007 vintage are beginning to show up in the market and I couldn’t wait to try out a Sangiovese based wine from one of my favorite producers.  The 2007 Castello Banfi Belnero is just that.  Made predominantly from Sangiovese, but with minor additions of other grapes where desired, the color of this wine pays hommage to it’s name: Belnero means “beautiful dark one”.   The aroma of the wine is the first thing that strikes you.  It’s abundant, with pipe tobacco, sweet berry fruit, dried sage and herbs. The palate is primary of course, with ripe cherry fruit, a long finish, and ripe silky tannins. Price can vary on this one, so shop around.  It’s a steal at the low end of $22, more moderate toward $30. If this is any indicator, I can’t wait to taste the 2007 Brunello when they are released.  91 points.

The 2007 Castello Banfi Belnero

With the Belnero, we had a type of Tuscan stew that I first enjoyed in Tuscany.  There, it was made with Pork, but for this rendition, I just used chicken thighs.  This is comforting and delicious and paired perfectly with the wine.  It’s similar to cacciatore, which literally means “Caught by the Hunter” but this had chicken, mushrooms, potatoes and peas.  The sauce consisted of tomato and just a touch of the Belnero.  Delicious.
Pollo Cacciatore
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