We had an impromptu guest® last night, and since I had just decanted the recent release of a wine I wanted to try with dinner, I quickly popped another cork on a value wine I haven’t had in years. 
The 2010 Castello Banfi Col di Sasso is a light to medium bodied blend of 50% Cabernet and 50% Sangiovese, estate grown in Montalcino.  It’s a pretty violet color and displays a nice nose of straight forward berry fruit, with a hint of herbs. Flavors follow the nose, and while not complex or intense, the wine provides a nice compliment for pizza, appetizers, or light snacks.  I can see “non-wine geeks” loving this wine.  Tapers off with an easy going, soft finish.   A solid value at $7.  85 points.

2010 Castello Banfi Col di Sasso:  “Hill of Stones”

With dinner of sauteed zucchini & cauliflower with crushed red pepper, anchovies, onions and garlic, we had panko crusted pork cutlets.  I had decanted the 2006 La Braccesca Bramasole.  This wine is from the Antinori owned estate on the hills surrounding the Tuscan town Cortona, made famous by Frances Mayes book Under the Tuscan Sun.  Cortona is clearly renowned for Syrah and this wine is very serious indeed. 
In the glass, the wine is dark, blackish purple, almost brooding.  The aromas are powerful, and crushed black plums, smoked meats, and intense pepper notes are easily discernible.  On the palate, the wine is full bodied, with a solid core of pepper accented black fruits. Minerals come through, as well as a bit of shoe leather. The wine displays an “oily” component, an almost oozing tactile sensation that I find in many Syrah based or dominated wines. That’s not a criticism, simply an observation. Substantial tannins clamp down on the finish. A teeth and tongue stainer. This one needs cellar time – at least 5-8 years  – to really blossom like I think it can.  91 points, about $28. 

2006 La Braccesca Bramasole Cortona Syrah

 Ciao tutti….

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