2007 marks the first year that Banfi’s new Horizon Winery got up and running, featuring new a fermenting system that uses oak cores with stainless steel caps to produce wine. The newly released Brunello, the first wine to come out of this winery, is reviewed below, along with a hot new Amarone from Sartori, one of Banfi’s labels. Thoughts follow.
2007 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino – Brick red in color, this Brunello looks very old (it’s not) and almost oxidized (it shouldn’t be) after pouring. Initially a bit hoary and funky, things settle down with exposure to air. In the end we get lots of wood, a dense and tannic core, and notes of balsamic, licorice, and currants. Not altogether balanced. B- / $55 castellobanfi.com
2009 Sartori Amarone della Valpolicella – A classically structured Amarone, raisiny but full of fruit up front, with notes of tobacco and touched with strawberry jam. Tart and fresh (particularly on the finish), it’s not as heavy-duty as many Amarones, which makes it more easygoing when sipping on its own. B+ / $40 banfivintners.com