Sunday, June 30, 2013

Report from ... Special Banfi Single Vineyard Component Tasting - May 8, 2013

Today a special component tasting of the flagship (estate) Brunello di Montalcino of Castello Banfi

with co-CEO Enrico Viglierchio
and Cristina Mariani (sorry it's slightly blurry)
We started with a tasting of the barrels samples from 2011 of the individual components that go into the Brunello, they hail from four vineyards:
Sorrena, Podernuova, Poggio d'Orcia, Casanova
These are never bottle as single vineyard wines here, we are just looking at the components of the finished wine ...

Sorrena (2011 Barrel Sample) ... gravel and sandy soil that suffers in dry vintages - "more elegance than style" (Enrico) - tasting note: the fruit really shows through on this one.

Podernuova (2011 Barrel Sample) ... soil is richer in calcium - "structure based, less elegant, rustic" (Enrico) - tasting note: big tannins and rough around the edges.

Poggio d'Orcia (2011 Barrel Sample) ... lowest part of the estate with rich soil, good drainage and the highest nutrition, this vineyard does not produce a lot of tannins -  "soft profile" (Enrico) - tasting note: soft, supple and red fruited.

Casanova (2011 Barrel Sample) ... one of the first vineyards planted; the makeup is limestone, sand and pebbles - "highest level of acidity" (Enrico) - tasting note: lacks fruit character on the nose gives lots of acidity and some fruit.

After the component tasting we moved on to tasted the finished wines from both current and paste vintages of the Brunello (2007 & 2001), as well as wines from Poggio Alle Mura (1998  & 2007); Alle Mura Riserva (2007) and Poggio All'Oro (1995& 2007) ...

2001 vintage notes:  spring frost decimated 40% of the crop
Tasting Notes: this wine is starting to show some leafy notes along with dried cranberry and sweet cherry
the palate is dried yet tasty with hints of forest floor; good acidity with a cedary finish
2007 vintage notes:  warmer than 2001, harvest was late because they needed to mature grapes
new vinification department opened for their high end wines

Tasting Notes: soft and easy on the nose with lots going on in the mouth including bite-y tannins and high acidity
you'll also find anise, blackberry and cassis
Alle Mura is 40-50 hectares surrounding the castle ... the first vintage of this wine was in 1997
"Defined by its soft elegant style" - Enrico

Tasting Notes: nose of sour cherry, blackberry and cassis with a touch of vanilla
lovely dark fruit, soft and supple with good tannin / acidity balance with cassis and a deep cocoa finish. (*** 1/2+)
Tasting Notes: The 1998 Alle Mura has plenty of licorice, dried leaves and smoky notes
with dried cedar, dried blackberry and forest floor; finish backs off of the cedar.  (****+)
This is a limited production wine made only in the good vintages
Tasting Notes: supple, sexy and well-structured; this wine has big everything,
it's just a baby with a long life ahead of it. (**** 1/2+)
Oldest vines on the property (planted 1979)
1985 was the first vintage of this wine, made only in the best vintages, 10 have been made since its inception
Decision to make this wine is made after first year in barrel

Tasting Notes: chocolate, blackberry and cassis with a sweetness of black fruit and licorice
nice tannin structure that plays off the bigness of the fruit. (**** 1/2)
Tasting Notes: fresh. lovely and easy drinking; the fruit still seesm to be fresh and lovely and it's drinking so well now
still has good acidity, lots of dark fruit ... smooth, sexy and silky.  This wine is at its peak.
Enrico calls this an "under-rated vintage"

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