I’ve written about the anticipated greatness of the 2009 vintage in Tuscany before so it shouldn’t have come to a surprise to me when the subject of today’s post was so delicious, but somehow it still caught me off guard.
With dinner of sauteed broccoli rabe, and chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and cheese (recipe below) we opened the 2009 Castello Banfi Centine.
Centine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet & Merlot, and although the exact percentages are not labeled on the wine, I suspect the wine is predominantly Sangiovese.  You could detect some fleshiness and color from the french grapes in the blend, but beyond that, the wine behaved like a wonderful Sangiovese.
In the glass, it’s a dark ruby with violet reflections.  The nose is very enticing and more complex than I would have expected. It offers up generous aromas of black cherry, fennel, cocoa dust, and red earth.  In the mouth, the wine is medium to full bodied and very elegant.  Persistent flavors of dark cherry, spice, slight cocoa and dusty minerals are woven together very well.  The wine is balanced, with only moderate tannins that provide structure without intruding.  The finish is long and ripe, with mouth watering acidity that compels another sip. Altogether, a tremendous effort and a great value.  Dare I say, given the price, a better wine than many Rosso di Montalcinos I’ve had and a significant step above from Castello Banfi’s Col di Sasso.  90 points, about $12.
2009 Castello Banfi Centine: Sangiovese, Cabernet & Merlot

This wine accompanied a tremendous simple chicken recipe I made.  The basic process is below.
Pollo Ripieno con Spinaci e Formaggio
1 pound boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat
8 oz. fresh baby spinach, sauteed until wilted
4 slices fontina cheese
Pank bread crumbs
Pre-heat your over to 350 degrees.  While heating, pound the chicken flat.  Dip in egg, and saute in olive oil until almost cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Do not discard the egg wash. Layer cheese and sauteed spinach on the chicken breasts. Roll and secure with a toothpick. Dip the rolled chicken back into the egg wash, then roll in panko bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Finito!!
As the process is a bit messy, I didn’t take pictures of the stages, but here’s a picture of the plated dinner.  The chicken was moist inside, and crispy outside.  The whole thing took only about 40 minutes from start to plating.  Delicious!

Pollo Ripieno con Spinaci e Fontina

Buon fine settimana!

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