I love Brunello.  I love Cabernet.  Sounds like the confession of two guilty pleasures or those old commercials where one little boy extols the virtues of peanut butter, while the other praises chocolate.  No complaints here for getting Cabernet in my Brunello….
Summus is Castello Banfi’s original Super Tuscan.  Though the blend has been tweeked slightly over the vintages, the soul of the wine has always remained consistent.  The 2003 Castello Banfi Summus is exactly what the term Super Tuscan should embody; a great wine, a wine of towering elegance, that plays outside the strict DOCG rules.
2003 was a hotter than normal vintage in Tuscany and many producers made wines that appear overripe or so concentrated that they lose their sense of place.  Not in this case.  The 2003 Summus was opened 60 minutes before dinner and served alongside baked chicken breasts stuffed with wild mushroom risotto.
In the decanter, the wine is dark black.  In the glass, the color fades only slightly at the rim.  The aromas are opulent. Rich black fruits, crushed black berries, mint, new fresh leather and cedar combine wonderfully. In the mouth, the ripeness of the vintage is evident.  This young Summus displays more forward fruit than more typical vintages, however, the brightness is there as well as the acidity, which keeps everything lively and fresh. Flavors follow the nose, with the darker, brooding side of Brunello showing and the minerals, black fruits, and mint coming through from the Cabernet.  The dollop of Syrah in the blend yields color, and a faint smokiness on the finish.  One of the best young showings of Summus I can recall.   Delicious. 93 points, about $50.

2003 Summus: 50% Brunello, 30% Cabernet, 20% Syrah


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