~ The grounds inside Castello Banfi include several manicured walking paths, guest quarters and vista points overlooking seas of vines ~

This past March, I had the opportunity to taste a range of Castello Banfi wines with Enrico Viglierchio, including the first ever 12 liter bottle of Brunello opened in the world.  As part of that dinner, we began with a pre-release tasting of the 2015 Rosso.   Having spoken to many winemakers and producers across Tuscany and Italy, I was keenly aware of how well the 2015 vintage was regarded.  Now, as some of the finished wines are being released, it’s becoming apparent that the praise was warranted.   Reproduced below is the note I jotted down during my dinner with Enrico.  Note, this was an early bottled version of the wine that had yet to be released.

This is a lovely bright red color.  Crushed berry, lively floral notes, hints of vanilla, fresh herbs and spices mark the complex nose.  Flavors mostly mirror the aromas with great balance and medium bodied concentration.  More tannic than one would expect. In fact, it’s mildly chewy. Could use a year to come together and soften.  2015 was an outstanding vintage in Montalcino and this is one of the best young Rossos I’ve ever had.  Outstanding effort given the volume of production.  A potential case purchase.  91 points.  About $18-24.

~ The recent tasting was paired with roasted pork loin wrapped in pancetta, butterflied and stuffed with prosciutto and spinach. I served additional garlicky spinach as a base underneath the sliced meat. ~

My note for the finished wine is not much different than the sample above.   The 2015 Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino is a wonderful example of a modern, clean, fresh Rosso.  Bright violet in the glass, the wine has aromas and flavors of crushed cherry, fresh flowers, vanilla accents and fresh herbs.  The biggest difference between this impression and my first is that the wine was significantly less tannic now that it’s had time to settle down in the bottle. It’s a fresh, modern Rosso with enough complexity to be interesting, while still retaining an air of easy drinking appeal.  That is not always easy to accomplish.  I stand by my previous score.  91 points.  Find this wine.

~ Easily worth a multi-bottle purchase. This Rosso will drink well for the next 3-5 years easily. Really good effort in an outstanding vintage ~

Buon fine settimana!

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