WINE: Castello Banfi Centine Toscana 2007
Deep ruby red in color, with aromas of blackberry, plum, espresso and anise. This “Super-Tuscan” style wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with complex flavors of dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, licorice and tar. Firm tannins from the Cab, and a pleasant earthiness from the Merlot complement the mineral qualities of red beets, and the Sangiovese provides a nice acidity to slice through the richness of aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano.
The term “Super Tuscan” was coined by Robert Parker, Jr., the famed wine reviewer. It refers to a class of Italian wines that do not conform the region’s rigid rules regarding grape varietals required under DOC(G) regulation. With the addition of Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, these “rebel” winemakers began creating world-class wines in the 1970’s and early 80’s that fetched outrageous prices. They can be a bit challenging for most consumers, however, since they can be made from practically any varietal or blends, and it doesn’t have to be indicated on the label.