Castello Banfi Brunello
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A savory version, boasting tomato leaf, juniper and eucalyptus aromas and flavors, alongside cherry, plum and a touch of vanilla from the oak. Firm and chewy, with a long, resonant finish. Best from 2025 through 2043.
Few producers had the yields (and the courage!) to make a Riserva in this hot and, generally speaking, difficult vintage. The Castello Banfi 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio alle Mura (that pours from a heavy glass bottle) show ripe fruit over an open-knit texture. There is blackberry, baked plum, leather, tobacco and earth offered in thick and soft layers. This is a full-bodied Sangiovese with lasting fruit weight and moderate complexity. The finer nuances are set aside by the powerful 15.5% alcohol content found in this production.
Lots of ripe and dried cherries with vanilla bean, cocoa and some dried herbs. Full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins. Dense and ripe but polished and well integrated. Better after 2024.
Stunning, showing black cherry, blackberry, plum, leather, earth and iron aromas and flavors that work in tandem with the supple texture and dense structure. This has a good feel, between its level of ripe fruit and firm tannins, to age well. Excellent length. Best from 2026 through 2045.
This is very tight and linear and long. It shows so much black truffle, dark cherry and wet earth character with some bark. Full-bodied yet tight and polished with firm tannins that persistently drive the length of the palate. Great aging potential here. Try after 2023.
This red combines strawberry and cherry flavors with underbrush notes. A rugged layer of tannins lays the base, while bitter almond and leafy underbrush accents emerge. A muscular version, tightly packed and closed now. Best from 2025 through 2045.
So opulent, plush and enticing with blackberry, blueberry, chocolate and walnut undertones. It’s full-bodied with balanced, refined and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Tannic and juicy. Better after 2024.
Lots of black-cherry, violet, and lavender aromas that follow through to a full body, with chewy and dusty tannins and a sweet, leather, tobacco and berry aftertaste. A pretty for red. Drink or hold.
Underbrush, pipe tobacco, leather, scorched earth and dark culinary-spice aromas meld together in this full-bodied red. The savory, structured palate delivers baked plum, juicy black cherry, vanilla and star anise framed in fine-grained tannins. Drink 2020–2032.
Aromas suggesting ripe plum, exotic spice, blue flower and a whiff of pipe tobacco take shape in the glass. The full-bodied palate doles out ripe black cherry, raspberry, vanilla and a hint of star anise while velvety tannins give it a polished feel. An espresso note signals the close. Drink 2018–2026.
“This is very tannic and powerful with blueberries, blackberries and milk chocolate. Full body, firm tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Shows length and power. A wine for decades ahead. Greatest Banfi red ever. Better in 2018.”
Cherry, leather, tar and milk chocolate flavors mingle in this big, chunky red. Balanced toward the tannic side, with a long aftertaste of spice, earth and chocolate.