At some point, I feel like I’m beating the proverbial dead horse.  Yet my fortune to enjoy several well aged Brunello over the holidays confirms that the wines deserve the praise they garner. 
The latest example was enjoyed New Year’s Eve, brought by a guest to celebrate the birthday of another.  Yes, a New Year’s Eve baby!  
The parallels from this 2001 to the 1990 Costanti I recently reviewed are interesting to draw.  While the current wine is 10 years younger, it’s drinking very well now, and clearly seems to have the legs to cellar another ten years – though admittedly, it would be hard to wait.
The 2001 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino is a deep dark blackish red in the decanter; like the Costanti, the color belies its age as the wine could easily pass for a 2006.  Decanting the wine for 60 minutes seemed to open the aromas considerably.  Flowers, spices, dark berry fruit and hints of vanilla blend harmoniously, seamlessly, with good assertiveness.  In the mouth, the wine is polished. This is not a rustic Brunello, but one that displays laser like precision to the cherry, tobacco, earth and spice notes that dance on the palate.  The duration of the wine is long, and shortened by firm, dusty tannins that seem to have a ways to go before resolving themselves.  The acid structure is balanced and provides liveliness to the fruit.  Very fine indeed.  92 points, approximately $50 upon release.
2001 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino


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