~ The Approach to Castello Banfi ~

I can’t think of a better descriptor than Towering Elegance.  To me, it relates both strength and grace.  Forte con calma.  I’ve been a lover of Summus for well over a decade now and have tasted every vintage produced several times over.   It’s a wine produced in only ideal vintages and one which encompasses the true essence of the Super Tuscan concept.   
Sourced from hillside estate vineyards on the southern slopes of Montalcino,  the vineyards that produce the fruit for Summus sit between 120-250 meters above sea level.  The Sangiovese vines are at the highest altitude while the Cabernet and Syrah vines are lower. The varying altitudes allows ideal maturation for each variety, a concept that is especially important in retaining Sangiovese’s aromatic character and maintaining it’s fresh acidity.

The three varieties are vinified separately in Castello Banfi’s specialized hybrid oak/steel fermentors and then aged in French barrique separately for 12 months.  Once blended,  aging continues in oak for another 8-10 months before 6-12 months final bottle aging. 

~ Summus is 40% Sangiovese Gross, 35% Cabernet and 25% Syrah ~

Recently,  we opened the latest release from Castello Banfi.   The 2011 Summus is without question, one of the greatest Summus I’ve ever tasted.  It hits on all cylinders.  Each varietal in the blend asserts itself individually, yet each joins the ovreall harmony in a way that doesn’t dominate.  

In the glass, the wine is a deep, blackish purple.  The aromas are frankly, luxurious with crushed black fruit,  fresh flowers,  tobacco,  sage, spice and mineral.  It’s so attractive to smell.  On the palate, the Sangiovese takes center stage right now – a trait not usually encountered by me in young Summus, where the Cabernet seems to dominate in its youth.  Bright flavors of black cherry, sweet pipe tobacco, roasted coffee, and fennel are penetrating.  The texture of the wine is silky smooth – velvety with graceful powerful grip behind it all.  Again, Forte con calma.   Long, flavorful, elegant finish.  Absolutely love this.  96 points.  Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample. 

As you can see from the above photo,  we paired Summus with a toasted fennel seed encrusted boneless pork roast and the match was absolutely heaven.  The fat in the meat elevated the fruit in the wine and the fennel in each was the perfect compliment.  A 100 point pairing.  

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