Banfi, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2012 (about $21)

Italian Wine for august, 2018

Banfi, more formally known as Castello Banfi, is a prominent wine estate located near the picturesque hill-top town of Montalcino in the heart of Tuscany’s prestigious Brunello zone. Started from scratch in the late 1970’s by brothers John and Harry Mariani from the New York City area, the estate today covers approximately 7,100 acres, a big chunk of Tuscan real estate. The centerpiece of the Banfi estate is an imposing 13th century castle that functions as a visitor hospitality center that includes a full-service restaurant, B&B, enoteca and wine-focused glass museum.

With 2,400 acres under vine, Banfi is a large estate by any measure but especially by Tuscan standards where small to medium-size family vineyards and wineries are the norm. Additionally, while most Tuscan estates focus their efforts on producing a limited number of wines, the Banfi estate produces and markets a wide range, literally dozens, of red, white and dessert-style wines at all price points.

2012 Chianti Classico Riserva from the Banfi Tuscan estateThe Chianti Classico Riserva from Banfi consists of Sangiovese with a modest splash of Cabernet Sauvignon and Canaiolo Nero. The grapes are selected from Banfi vineyards in the Chianti Classico zone between Florence and Siena. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel with a 7-day maceration followed by 2 years of aging in small-to-medium size Slavonian oak barrels. The wine ages for an additional 6 months in bottle prior to release.

This wine is a real pleasure to drink. It has a deep garnet color with rich and intricate ripe dark cherry and balsamic aromas. The wine is nicely balanced with a medium body, discreet acidity, a generous helping of dark berries and spices supported by soft, almost-sweet tannins. The wine exudes lip-smacking pleasure that invites further sipping. It is a substantial wine with a very modest price tag that is hard to beat on a quality-to-price basis.

While the wine is ready to drink now it can also be tucked away in your cellar for some additional ageing. While bottles of the 2012 Riserva offering are still available, more recent vintages such as the 2013 and 2014 may also be found on wine shop shelves.

 

©Richard Marcis
August 5, 2018

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