Castello Banfi Belnero 2009 – Costco Week Wine #6

A Budget (Quasi-)Brunello.

Sangiovese with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy.

Purchased at Costco for $20.99 (Saturday Splurge).

From the bottle:

“A cuvee of red grape varieties perfected by our pioneering winemaking research. This “Dark Beauty”, Belnero is fermented in wood and stainless steel hybrid tanks and aged in barriques a minimum of 12 months. Appealing violet and cherry nuances with hints of cedar and licorice.

15.0% Alcohol”

Brunello di Montalcino is perhaps one of Italy’s most famous wines. Today’s wine, Belnero (hmm, sounds suspiciously close to Brunello doesn’t it?) comes from Montalcino, but does not qualify as a Brunello because it does not quite contain 100% Sangiovese nor does it spend the required amount of time in oak (1 year here as opposed to the 2 year requirement). Even so, it’s rare to find many wines from Montalcino for under $20 so today we have a Saturday Splurge, but just barely, clocking in at just $1 over our limit. One of the reasons Sangiovese from Montalcino is so prized is that this area, in the province of Siena, has the warmest and driest climate in Tuscany which makes it an ideal spot to grow this delicious variety.

The 2009 Castello Banfi Belnero begins with a nice, but a bit subdued aroma of black cherry, plum, a little mocha and a hint of smoked meat. It begins to open up even more with some time in the glass. Tasting the wine reveals a lush, multi-dimensional mouthfeel, strong grippy tannins and lots of flavor. Those flavors include black and sour cherry, plum, spice and a bit of toasty oak although not to a level that detracts from the wine. It ends with a mouth drying finish of good length. And it was just as good, if not better on day 2. This wine is probably still a bit young and although quite good as it is, I’d probably recommend a buy and hold strategy to get the most bang for your buck.

Wine in the 2013 Costco Week Series!

Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Saturday Splurge

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