~ The Ancient Abbey near Sant’Antimo ~

Consistency.  This may be the most apt word in describing the Estate Brunello of Castello Banfi.  It’s remarkable for an estate to achieve the quality it does in a Brunello that is produced in amounts only slightly less than most of the First Growth Bordeaux.  However, clearly it can be done.
The subject of today’s review is the 2004 Brunello, from Castello Banfi.   2004 was a classic, ageworthy vintage in Tuscany. The wines exhibit ripe fruit flavors, lots of complexity, but with wonderful fresh acids and balanced tannins to allow for cellar development. 
In the instant case, the wine is a deep dark garnet red in the decanter.  In the glass, there is evidence of a lightening toward the rim.  The wine was decanted for almost 90 minutes as I suspected it would be tight and angry.  It was.  The remainder of this review notwithstanding, if you take anything away – it’s let 2004’s lie in the cellar. They need it and are not in a great place right now.

The wine was reticent on the nose.  Agitating in the decanter helped a bit,  but the aromas are simply angry at being uncorked – like a teenager you’re trying to wake up at 8AM on Sunday morning.  The fruit, tobacco, and flowers are there, but they don’t want to be.  On the palate, the wine is more approachable, more expressive.  While not exuberant, the core of fruit is there, but it’s hiding behind a stern wall of tannin and while dusty and not angular, they still obscure the fruit.  There’s a pretty note of espresso bean that I hope the wine retains as it matures.  I don’t ever recall a Castello Banfi estate Brunello being this backward.  The fruit plumped up with dinner – roasted chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, and broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic, but this isn’t anywhere near it’s apex.   HOLD.   Providing a score is too difficult here, but I think a range is appropriate with the caveat – Judgement Reserved.  Approx. 88-92 points.  About $45.  

~ Like a sleeping teenager – leave this one alone ~

E Vero!

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