Banfi are the biggest players by far in Tuscany’s Montalcino region, with 950 hectares under vine. But this isn’t an old, multigenerational family winery that can trace its history back to the renaissance – it was founded in 1978 by the Mariani brothers, American-Italians whose father established a wine import and distribution business in the USA in 1919, the year prohibition was enacted. Banfi Vintners in the USA lent their name to their Montalcino estate, Castello Banfi, when they purchased Poggio Alle Mura and began expanding it. This is their Rosso, and I was quite impressed by it.
Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 2019 Toscana, Italy
£19.99 Majestic, £16.99 mix six
Banfi are the biggest player in Montalcino, so I was interested in how this Rosso fared. It’s actually really good, with a lovely spicy, peppery edge to the sweet cherry and plum fruit, with some firm, dusty tannins. There’s a nice balance of textured, supple cherry fruit with some savoury grip, and this offers both massive drinkability with a bit of structure, and nice savoury detail. Speaks of its place nicely, and there’s plenty of vitality here that I appreciate. 91/100
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