1997 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very dark garnet with saturated purple hues. Penetrating aromas of underbrush, sweet tobacco and wild mushroom. Quite juicy, but also sumptuous and deep, with rich flavors of mocha, espresso and anise over a firm mineral backbone. There is no evidence of excess weight in spite of the wine generous structure. The long close features glossy tannins and a flavor of cassis. At once powerful and elegant. Among the largest producers in Montalcino, Castello Banfi is arguably the one making the best Brunellos today, with a remarkable string of successes since 1990.
Dark ruby-garnet. Aromas of blackberry, coffee bean and meat. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. Big and racy. Still needs some bottle age. (Web-2007)
The Mariani family has produced a hugely concentrated, wood-dominated wine with powerful smoky aromas and concentrated black, ripe, chunky fruit. Itís heavy on the berries, both in the rustic, brambly nose and on the deep, tight, classy palate. Toasty flavors come through the fruit, but these will soften and blend in with aging.