Posts tagged ‘Banfi’

Three Chianti Wines from Banfi

 

This is based on wine provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2013 Bolla Chianti

2012 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico

2010 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva

 

 

 

These samples were sent in conjunction with an online promotion to educate casual wine drinkers about the Chianti region and its different types of wines.

 

Chianti Rooster scaled

 

 

About Chianti

The first time Chianti was recognized as a wine was in 1398.  At that time Chianti was a white wine, not red as it is today.  The first “official” borders for the Chianti region were drawn up in 1716.  In 1872, Baron Bettino Ricasoli, the second Prime Minister of Italy, created the “recipe” for Chianti.  This original recipe called for Chianti to be a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia.  Prior to this, Canaiolo had been the dominant grape in the blend.

 

In the 1970s, most people’s idea of Chianti was a wine in a fiasco, the straw-covered bottle you’d find at inexpensive Italian restaurants and pizza parlors.  At that time, with the growing popularity of Chianti, many producers were unfortunately more focused on increasing production instead of increasing quality.

 

The biggest change in the region occurred in 1996, when due to the increased popularity and quality of the so-called Super Tuscans, the Chianti laws were changed to eliminate the minimum amount of white grapes that had to be used and to allow up to 15% “international” grapes.  In 2006, the laws were again changed prohibiting the use of white grapes in the production of Chianti Classico wines.

 

 

Banfi logo

About Banfi

Banfi is a private concern, founded in New York in 1919 by John Mariani, Sr. and today owned and operated by his grandchildren.  The company is focused on the production and import of wine.

 

Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family’s internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Banfi Piemonte of Strevi, Piedmont.  Banfi also imports the wines of several other producers, including category leaders Bolla, Cecchi, Florio, Fontana Candida, Placido, Riunite, and Sartori from Italy, Concha y Toro and Emiliana from Chile, and Trivento from Argentina, Wisdom & Warter Sherries from Spain and Stone’s Ginger wine from England.  The company has ranked as North America’s leading wine importer for more than three decades.

 

 

Additional references

The Race of the Rooster: How Chianti earned its famous emblem by Arianna Armstrong on Palate Press.

Visit the Crazy for Chianti page on Facebook.

The Crazy for Chianti organization also has a nice website.

 

 

This line up for this tasting:

Chianti Wines from Banfi

Chianti Wines from Banfi

 

 

 

2013 Bolla Chianti – SRP $9

Bolla Chianti wines are more of an every day wine.  This wine is available just about everywhere for under $10 a bottle.

 

The Bolla Chianti is generally a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo and other indigenous varieties.  The grapes are crushed and fermented at controlled temperatures in stainless steel for 10 to 12 days.

 

This wine has 13.0% alcohol.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, bright, ruby red color.  The very appealing nose has cherries, wild flowers, scorched earth, dried herbs, and spice.  This is barely medium body with soft tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate the tart, red cherries steal the show with some earthiness and spice in the background.  The finish has decent length and again is dominated by the tart cherries.  This is a nice Chianti for weeknight pizza, pasta, or lighter meat dishes.  This would also do well with a cheese/salami platter.  (86 pts)

2013 Bolla Chianti

2013 Bolla Chianti

 

 

 

2012 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico – SRP $15

The Castello Banfi Chianti Classico is a step up from the Bolla Chianti both in quality and price.  This wine has very good distribution and is usually available for under $15.

 

This wine is mainly Sangiovese with small amounts of Canaiolo Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine is fermented with traditional skin contact of 8 to 10 days.  The wine is aged for a short time in large French oak casks and is bottled the summer following harvest.

 

The wine is 13.0% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a nice ruby red color.  The soothing nose is cherries, violets, warm baking spices, earthy underbrush and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body, soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate this is rich and plush with cherries, baking spices with some building earthiness on the back end.  The finish has nice length with cherries giving way to some lingering earthiness.  This will pair well with the usual pizza and pasta but would be nice with lighter meat and poultry dishes.  (88 pts)

2012 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico

2012 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico

 

 

 

2010 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva – SRP $19

This Chianti Classico Riserva is the next step up in price and quality.  This wine also enjoys good distribution and is usually available for well under $20.

 

This wine typically is predominantly Sangiovese with small amounts of Canaiolo Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon.  After maceration and fermentation, the wine is aged for at least 2 years, with at least 12 months in Slavonian oak.  After bottling, the wine receives at least 6 months of bottle aging before release.

 

This wine had 13.5% alcohol.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a shade darker than medium ruby red.  The very open and inviting nose has cherries, plums, leather, earthy underbrush, wild flowers, dusty minerals, and a touch of licorice.  This has medium body, soft to moderate tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate there is a nice balance between the fruit, spice, and earthiness with none of the elements trying to overwhelm the others.  The finish has very nice length and again shows nice balance.  This could be slipped into a “Super Tuscan” line up and not stick out as a weak link.  This would stand up well to a meat dish, like roast beef, especially if it was finished with some nice Italian herbs.  This would rock with a pizza loaded with sausage or pasta with meat sauce.  (89 pts)

2010 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva

2010 Castello Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva

 

 

What would be better to pair with these three Chianti wines than pizza?  I picked up a pizza at the local pizzeria with a thin “cracker crust” that was loaded with pepperoni, sausage, and gooey cheese.  I added an order of Fried Mozzarella Sticks to make it a complete meal  🙂

Pizza and Chianti

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

Emiliana Wines – Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Wines

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

 

 

Emiliana logo

 

Overview:

These wines, while not produced by Banfi, were imported into the United States by the company.  Banfi is the importer/distributor of over 30 different labels from around the world.  While the majority of these labels are from Italy, they also work with wineries in Australia, Chile, Spain and even a couple of American wineries.

 

 

 

About the winery:

The Emiliana winery firmly believes that using sustainable, organic, and biodynamic agricultural practices results in better-balanced, healthier, and more productive vineyards, which in turn results in better quality grapes and therefore better wines.

 

Our mission is to provide our consumers with the highest quality wines with a unique expression of terroir achieved through the benefits of using organic and biodynamic agriculture.

 

To meet this objective, we at Emiliana base our work on two essential principles: care for the environment and respect for our workers and community.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website by clicking here.

 

There is a very informative interactive presentation on the winery’s website that shows the Organic & Biodynamic practices being utilized that I highly recommend checking out by clicking here.

 

 

Banfi logo

 

About Banfi:

Banfi is a private concern, founded in New York in 1919 by John Mariani, Sr. and today owned and operated by his grandchildren.  The company is focused on the production and import of wine.

 

Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family’s internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Banfi Piemonte of Strevi, Piedmont.  Banfi also imports the wines of several other producers, including category leaders Bolla, Cecchi, Florio, Fontana Candida, Placido, Riunite, and Sartori from Italy, Concha y Toro and Emiliana from Chile, and Trivento from Argentina, Wisdom & Warter Sherries from Spain and Stone’s Ginger wine from England.  The company has ranked as North America’s leading wine importer for more than three decades.

 

Banfi’s success has enabled the company to play a broad philanthropic role through the Banfi Foundation.  The Foundation provided seed money to help Catholic Relief Services build a technical school and an orphanage as well as an 800-unit housing project in Potenza, Italy, where thousands were left homeless after a devastating earthquake in the early 1980s.  It also generously endows select charities and universities around the world, and sponsors annual scholastic tours to study the food and wine culture of Italy.

 

Banfi is led today by two grandchildren of the founder: James Mariani and Cristina Mariani-May, who share the title of co-CEO.  Their fathers, Chairman Emeritus Dr. John F. Mariani and President Emeritus Harry F. Mariani, continue as active counsel to the executive committee and are members of the firm’s advisory board. Banfi’s world headquarters is a 60-room Elizabethan manor located on a 127-acre estate and vineyard in Old Brookville, New York.

 

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting:

Emiliana line up

 

 

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

The grapes for this 100% Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Fundo Rosario Vineyard in Lagunilla.  The vineyard, located 250m above sea level, was planted from 1999 to 2005 primarily on the hillsides.

 

After chilling, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled tanks using selected yeasts.  After fermentation, the wine was aged 4 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling.  There were 2,200 cases produced.

 

Organic Agriculture Certified by IMO, Switzerland.

 

The wine has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle was sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow with a green tint.  The fresh smelling nose has fresh cut grass, grapefruit zest, crushed stones, white pepper and a touch of smoke.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate fresh cut grass and green herbs dominate initially until the grapefruit zest takes over.  The finish has nice length with crushed stone minerals entering the picture.  If you are looking for a Sauvignon Blanc loaded with grass and green herbs, look no further.  (88 pts)

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

2012 Emiliana Sauvignon Blanc Novas Gran Reserva

 

 

 

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

This wine is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot from vineyards in the Rapel Valley.

 

After fermentation, 20% of the wine was aged for 6 months in French oak barrels.

 

Organic Agriculture Certified – IMO, Switzerland.

Social Responsibility Certified – IMO, Switzerland.

 

The wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle was sealed with a natural cork.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The pleasing nose has cassis, cherries, vanilla, chalky minerals and a slight herbal note.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate cherries and minerals jump out first with vanilla and herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish is a touch short but tasty.  This has a slight herbal note and could use some complexity but it will work as a week night or with friends over a platter of cheese.  (86 pts)

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

2012 Emiliana Cabernet Sauvignon Natura

 

 

 

Closing Thoughts

The winery is very conscious and shows considerable respect for the planet and deserves the awards and recognition they have received.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Sparkling Wines from Banfi

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

N.V. Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry

N.V. Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

 

 

Banfi logo

 

Overview:

These wines, while not produced by Banfi, were imported into the United States by the company.  Banfi is the importer/distributor of over 30 different labels from around the world.  While the majority of these labels are from Italy, they also work with wineries in Australia, Chile, Spain and even a couple of American wineries.

 

These samples arrived just in time to accompany me on a vacation to South Carolina.  I looked forward to trying them in the warm South Carolina evenings before dinner.

 

 

 

About the company:

Banfi is a private concern, founded in New York in 1919 by John Mariani, Sr. and today owned and operated by his grandchildren.  The company is focused on the production and import of wine.

 

Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family’s internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Banfi Piemonte of Strevi, Piedmont.  Banfi also imports the wines of several other producers, including category leaders Bolla, Cecchi, Florio, Fontana Candida, Placido, Riunite, and Sartori from Italy, Concha y Toro and Emiliana from Chile, and Trivento from Argentina, Wisdom & Warter Sherries from Spain and Stone’s Ginger wine from England.  The company has ranked as North America’s leading wine importer for more than three decades.

 

Banfi’s success has enabled the company to play a broad philanthropic role through the Banfi Foundation.  The Foundation provided seed money to help Catholic Relief Services build a technical school and an orphanage as well as an 800-unit housing project in Potenza, Italy, where thousands were left homeless after a devastating earthquake in the early 1980s.  It also generously endows select charities and universities around the world, and sponsors annual scholastic tours to study the food and wine culture of Italy.

 

Banfi is led today by two grandchildren of the founder: James Mariani and Cristina Mariani-May, who share the title of co-CEO.  Their fathers, Chairman Emeritus Dr. John F. Mariani and President Emeritus Harry F. Mariani, continue as active counsel to the executive committee and are members of the firm’s advisory board. Banfi’s world headquarters is a 60-room Elizabethan manor located on a 127-acre estate and vineyard in Old Brookville, New York.

 

 

 

Here is the line up for this tasting:

Banfi Sparkling Wines

Banfi Sparkling Wines

 

 

 

N.V. Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry – SRP $13

This sparkling wine is made from 100% Glera grapes which were formerly known as Prosecco.  The grapes were grown in mixed clay vineyards in Treviso which is north of Venice.  The grapes were both hand and machine harvested.  The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks.

 

This wine has 11% alcohol by volume and 13 g/l of residual sugar.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow to straw color.  The enjoyable nose has apples, pears, lime zest, chalky minerals, some nuttiness and a hint of fresh baked bread.  This has a light body with small persistent bubbles and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  This is crisp and clean on the palate with nice length on the finish with lingering minerals and almonds to go with the fruit and nice sweetness.  This is an easy to drink, value priced sparkling wine.  (89 pts)

NV Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry

NV Bolla Prosecco Extra Dry

 

 

 

N.V. Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry – SRP $13

This sparkling wine is made from a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Raboso.  The grapes are from hillside vineyards in Trevigiano.

 

The grapes are gently crushed and pressed then quickly separated from the pumice to avoid imparting too much color on the young must.  After the first temperature controlled fermentation, the base wine undergoes a second fermentation in closed pressure tanks for the “prise de mousse,” resulting in a fully-sparkling wine.

 

This wine has 11% alcohol by volume.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright pink to salmon color.  The appealing nose has cherries, strawberries, minerals, citrus zest and orange blossoms.  The wine has a light body with loads of small bubbles, crisp acidity and some light lingering sweetness.  On the palate tart cherries, minerals and citrus zest hit first with a touch of spice coming in on the back end.  This has decent length with some lingering sweetness.  This would be a crowd pleaser of an easy drinker on a warm afternoon.  (87 pts)

NV Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry

NV Bolla Sparkling Rosé Extra Dry

 

 

 

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale – SRP $20

This red sparkling wine is made from 100% Brachetto grapes from Acqui Terme, Piedmont, Italy.

 

For this wine the grapes are fermented with brief contact with the skins.  Following fermentation the wine is filtered and stored 32°F.   Refermentation is in stainless-steel vats, after which the wine is bottled immediately.

 

This sparkler has 7% alcohol by volume and should be served chilled.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, transparent red color.  The fresh and fruity nose has candied cherries, strawberries, subtle earthiness and rose water.  This has a light body with nice acidity and a fair amount of residual sweetness.  The wine pours with a nice mousse and the pinpoint bubbles are relentless.  On the palate the sweet fruit grabs your attention and refuses to let go.  The finish has decent length and again is totally fruit driven.  This is an off dry to sweet sparkling wine that would be a hit at a party where the wine is not the center of attention or as an after dinner sipper with friends beside a platter of dark chocolate.   Between the acidity and the persistent bubbles this easily avoids becoming cloyingly sweet.  (86 pts)

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d'Acqui Rosa Regale

2013 Vigne Regali (Banfi) Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale

 

 

 

Closing Thoughts

This tasting provided a very nice variety of sparkling wines.  The two from Bolla would be perfect to sip on a warm afternoon, as an aperitif or with lighter foods.  The Rosa Regale provides more sweetness and could serve as a lighter dessert wine with a platter of cheese or dark chocolate.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

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