Summus Castello Banfi

~ Fields of Wheat on the Castello Banfi Estate ~

Without question, Summus stands resolute as Castello Banfi’s signature Super Tuscan.  It possesses the unique ability to charm in its youth, but gracefully age into something more; something different.  I’ve covered dozens of vintages of Summus on this website.  In 2017, I hosted the “Summus Summit” where we tasted 9 vintages of this wine that spanned 3 decades.  Yet coincidentally, that tasting didn’t include the subject of this article on which I last reported in 2012.

Definitely a lot has changed since then.  And in making that statement, I’m not even referring to the chaos that has taken form in 2020. The amazing vintages of 2010, 2015 and 2016 have been released.  Many Estates have changed ownership and even Castello Banfi has undergone a transition.  Sadly, we lost their long time winemaker and friend in 2018.

Yet Summus marches on and passes the test of time.  These cellar notes are pockmarks on history.  An indelible chink in a timeline that causes one to pause and reflect.  In this case, the 2004 was crafted by Rudy.  His style and even his passionate character are on display here.

Summus in Cellar

~ We tasted barrel samples with Rudy in 2017 ~

I have to admit, I am wistful. Looking back at the time spent with friends and colleagues and realizing that even though some have left us or moved on, Summus stands the test of time. In that, it witnesses the history which has transpired. In fact, it becomes part of it.

The 2004 Castello Banfi Summus is a deep purple with faint ruby highlights.  I decanted the wine off a heavy, coffee grind like sediment about 60 minutes before dinner. The wine benefited from the aeration.

In the glass, Summus exudes harmony with its array of aromas.  Dark plums, chocolate, fennel and bacon combine in a unique and elegant presentation.  On the palate, Summus is intense and regal.  Long and ripe, with flavors of black fruits, forest floor, cocoa powder, fennel and smokey tobacco, it is fresh and statesman like.  The balance between fruit, acid and tannin is impeccable. As a result, I sense that additional aging is possible.  However, I wouldn’t I’d recommend it.  To me, this is in a wonderful place right now.  We served it with veal osso bucco over mushroom risotto.  Drink now through 2023.  93 points.  Find this wine.

Summus in Decanter

~ 16 years old and still a youthful color. What man may forget, history remembers ~

The 2004 Summus is a blend of 40% Sangiovese Grosso, 40% Cabernet and 20% Syrah.  This bottle is starting to show some of the secondary notes from the Syrah and the Sangiovese.  In my experience this is typical for Summus and generally what I hope to accomplish by aging the wine.


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