"CROWD-PLEASER Classy, pure, dark cherry fruits, medium- to full-bodied, harmonious palate, sweet tannins, with a lovely balance of spice, plum and toasty oak."
- Italian Cooking - November 2003
"Grapes: Sangiovese (Brunello clones). Style: Full-bodied, hearty red wine. Aroma & Flavor Description: Opaque with explosive aromas of black berries and earthy, mushroomy scents, this wine’s velvety texture supports the ample tannins and deep, layered, black fruit flavors. Basic information: Aged for 12 months in a combination of French barriques and Slavonian casks, this Rosso originates in grapes harvested from the same high altitude vineyard sites that produce Italy’s most prestigious wine, the renowned Brunello di Montalcino. Sleek and supple in style, it is comprised of grapes harvested from younger estate vines that do not qualify for Brunello. Rosso is often an outstanding value, as is this wine, approximating the style of its more famous sibling, although much more accessible in its youth. In vintages with minimal quantities of Brunello, the Rosso is particularly outstanding. Aging potential: Drink within the next 3 to 5 years. Serving suggestions: Great with hard cheeses, roast veal, broiled steak."
- Sandy Block - MASSACHUSETTS BEVERAGE BUSINESS
"This Sangiovese Brunello is deep ruby red in color, has a dry round velvety taste with generous body."
- WINE.COM 27 January 2003
"A rich and juicy, spicy red. Medium-to full-bodied. Soft on the palate, with a fresh, fruity finish." 87
- Wine Spectator - October 2002
Rosso di Montalcino 1999
"Dense purple hue. Big, earthy aromas of menthol, new oak, camphor and hints of red berry. Generous black fruit flavors vie with smoky oak, tar and bramble. Smoky accents highlight the close." 86
- The Wine News - October/November 2002
"Castello Banfi, one of the most respected Montalcino wineries, triumphs with its 1999 Rosso. Full of dark fruit flavors, with secondary aromas reminiscent of pipe tobacco and leather, it offers many of the charms of the best Brunellos, at a far more reasonable price."
- Paul Lukacs - The Washington Times - September 2002
"This is a Rosso pushing for Brunello status, its ferrous tannins supporting dark berry flavors through a long, mouthwatering finish. Treat it to a few more years in the cellar to draw out more complexity, or enjoy its concentrated, mouth-sticking flavor with beef braciole." 90
- Wine & Spirits Magazine - June 2002
"...definitely "deck'd" with elegant complexities, and is filled, as well, with considerable Tuscan sunshine...This remarkable wine has ripe berry, plum, brown spice and vanilla aromas that lead to generous, well-balanced dark fruit, spice and vanilla oak flavors; its tannins are firm but approachable and its finish is strong and persistent."
- Robert Neralich - Arkansas Democrat Gazette - May 2002
"Dense and earthy with blocky tannins as well as a nice deep black cherry and violet nose and a big dose of cocoa-like oak flavor..." ***
- Tim Teichgraeber - Star Tribune - May 2002
"...smooth on the palate, intense and persistent through a long, dry finish." 90 Exceptional
- Robert Whitley - The Times of Trenton - February 2002
"Nice, smoky, ripe plum, with mineral and spice notes. Medium-bodied, with medium tannins and a fresh fruit finish." 85
- Wine Spectator - November 2001
Rosso di Montalcino 1998
"Soft, sweet red cherries and a seductive chocolatey taste combine in this traditional red, from the Montalcino region in Tuscany, Italy. This is the most affordable Brunello in the extensive Castello Banfi portfolio and will open your taste buds to a whole new world of flavour where a wine combines sweet and savoury flavours I the same, sensational mouthful."
- Joelle Thomson - Viva (New Zealand) - 18 June 2003
"This used to be a much better value, sure, but then this wine has become rather more rich and elegant in the last decade. Sangiovese is the grape, although many of you don’t know what to expect from that grape, you should expect rich cherry and plum flavors with spicy aromas of cinnamon and clove."
- Doug Frost - THE KANSAS CITY (MO) STAR - 23 January 2003
"...has purple color, spicy aromas of cherries and plums, flavors of cherries and chocolate and a generous body wrapped around firm tannins and good structure throughout."
- Dave DeSimone - Pittsburgh Post Gazette - March 2002
"Full. Dry. Ripe cherry, anise and pepper; richly textured, forward juicy flavors, excellent tannins. Good value." **** Extraordinary
- Gerald D. Boyd - San Francisco Chronicle - August 2001
"Don't be fooled by the peasant stock from which this Rosso comes. This wine has pungent aromas of fresh fruit and new oak, and mouthfilling flavors of plum, raspberries, coffee and light chocolate."
- Dick Rosano - Fra Noi - July 2001
"Very dark, brilliant ruby-purple color. Wonderful to smell with loads of black and red fruits highlighted by wooded aromas of cedar, oak, toasty vanilla. Dimensional touches of mint, tobacco, plum, mushroom, sweet strawberry, hints of roses were also found. Balanced and filled with well-extracted flavors of blackberry, cherry, currant, chocolate, lightly-earthy minerals. The aftertastes are tightly wound with bold tannins. A distinctive, full-bodied red..." Wine of the Month
- Atlanta Wine Report - April 2001
"This is a large-scaled rosso, and oak is used here lavishly but gracefully. Aromas of game, leather and dill open to dark plum and licorice flavors and a dense feel on the palate. Moderate tannins show up on the long finish, accompanied by lots of toasty oak and licorice notes." 89
- Wine Enthusiast - February 2001
"Long, intense, and with real character, it is delicious now."
- Michael Apstein - Boston Globe - January 2001
"Medium dark. Lovely red fruits. Moderate intensity and concentration. Fairly high acidity, little oak, fairly soft. Very pleasant wine." Very Good+
- Robert Helms - Bacchus Wine Forum - January 2001
"The wine is deep ruby with purple pyrope overtones, and has a well-balanced bouquet in which cherry fruit mingles pleasingly with sandalwood that has cedar overtones, with hints of ash too. The palate reflects the nose; the wine is full, and rather voluptuous, with rich black cherry fruit supported by smooth round tannins that lead into a clean cherry-laced finish with a slight tannic burr and hints of ash. The overall impression is one of languor, a pleasing, fuller interpretation of Rosso di Montalcino..."
- Kyle Phillps' Italian Wine Review - Vol. 2000/2 #3
"...has a clean, lean, modest weight palate with berry, mostly cherry flavors before a short to medium length, focused finish which adds fine tannins. Well balanced and structured with good acidity, it will be much better in three years when it will have opened and developed greater depth."
- The Colorado WIne News - October-December 2000
Rosso di Montalcino 1997
"Cherry, anise, pepper, spice, toasted oak aromas; rich texture, juicy flavors, excellent tannins. Good value." **** - Extraordinary
- San Francisco Chronicle - January 2002
"Rosso is the fruit driven flipside of aged woody Brunello, and this was a great vintage for fruit. We love the true ripe fruit nose of cherries, pepper, spices and a hint of vanilla. Super soft with very sweet ripe cherry jam, spicy, gamey flavours on the palate. Friendly, open and fun to drink." 91
- Wine Access - December 2000
"General Qualities: Medium-bodied, uncomplicated, dry, balanced acidity, modest tannins. Color: Ruby. Aromas: Currant, herbal, violet. Flavors: Berry, cherry. Other Descriptors: Harmonious, round." ***
- WineToday.com - September 2000
"Nose of concentrated black fruits and sweet vanilla. Firm, concentrated, ripe black fruit flavors..." 88
- The Robards Report - September 2000
"Deeply colored, it had fresh cherry fruit on the nose... and dry cherry fruit and rather dry tannins on the palate." ***
- Malcolm Anderson - The Gazette - September 2000
"Packed with jammy fruit over a firm, tannic structure, this wine can be enjoyed now but is perfect for laying ageworthy wines in the cellar. This one has the stuff to age magnificently for five to ten years."
- Ben Giliberti (Newsday) - June 2000
Dallas Morning News Wine Competition (March 30-April 3, 2000)
"...from Italy's best vintage since 1990 (even counting '93 and '95), is a terrific expression of the Sangiovese Brunello grape. Intense and dusty, the wine projects lovely black cherry and black raspberry flavors with hints of dark chocolate and violets; it's warm, rich and enticing."
- Fredric Koeppel (Commercial Appeal) - May 2000
"First rate: round, full-bodied and extremely fruity (so ripe it nearly tastes sweet), with evident richness. It tastes of plum, red currant, violet, and pepper. Very well balanced. Great value." ***** (5 Stars)
- Restaurant Wine
"This supple charmer hails from the fantastic 1997 Tuscan vintage, a harvest marked by red wines of intense grapiness and natural elegance. Buy two, because I know you'll want more with your famous smoked chicken pasta primavera." ****
- F. Paul Pacult (SKY/Delta Airlines) - May 2000
"We love the true ripe fruit nose of cherries, pepper, spices and a hint of vanilla. Super soft with very "sweet" ripe cherry jam, spicy, gamey flavours on the palate. Friendly, open and fun to drink. This is a winner in '97 and should be a natural for restaurant wine lists." 91
- Wine Access - May 2000
"Saturated, modern ruby-purple hue. Opulent vanilla and red fruit aromas jump from the glass. A rich entry leads to a moderately full-bodied palate with ripe, plummy flavors. Quite generous, but supported by firm tannins on the finish. Drink now or later." 91
- Tastings.com (Beverage Testing Institute)
"...a very rich and luscious wine, baring firm tannins in addition to berries and a leather note that lingers, leaving the mouth shewing and craving more. Just writing about Rosso di Montalcino makes my eyes close and my mouth water and is driving me to rapidly end this review so I can stalk off to the store for another bottle." ****
- AlcoholReviews.com - July 2000
"....rich and full and loaded with flavors of fruit and earth and just a hint of oak. To me it represents the potential of these wines. It is modern in style while retaining its sense of place. I think this wine sets the standard for Rosso..."
- Richard Kinssies - Seattle Post Intelligencer - March 2000
"Balanced and smooth, this is moderate in all things: black cherry juiciness, tarry earthiness, oak char. Neither too potent nor too restrained, it all forms an agreeable red for simple meat or game dishes." 86
- Wine & Spirits - June 2000
"Slinky and enticing red. Good level of berry and fresh mushroom character, medium-bodied, with firm yet silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish." 87
- Wine Spectator
"Full and ripe, with some richness, berry, oak and pepper flavors, and medium length." Excellent ****
- Restaurant Wine
Rosso di Montalcino 1996
"A gold-medal winner at the Dallas Morning News competition. Rosso di Montalcino is rich, soft and elegant, with a bouquet of violets and refined spice."
- Renie & Sterling Steves (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) - May 2000
"Juicy Rosso; Banfi's best in years." 87
- Wine Spectator
"An aristocratic wine, complex yet delicate, balanced and long. The nose offers up truffles, cranberries and tart cherries. These elements combine on the palate with a toasty note that carries through the finish." 89
"Elegant and attention grabbing."
- Wine Enthusiast
"Leaves and cherries in a soft and simple nose and mouth. Very tasty... lovely with eggplant and mushroom dishes."
- Santé - June 2000
"... a wonderful richness of herbs and black fruits." 88
- Wine Enthusiast
Rosso di Montalcino 1995
"Deep ruby red. Medium-bodied. Moderately extracted. Mildly tannic. Vanilla, red berry fruits, dried herbs. Generous fruit-accented aromas lead a lively, vibrant, berry-centered palate with an herbal note and a taut finish. Supple, ripe flavors." 95
- Tastings.com (Beverage Testing Institute) - July 2000
"Pretty plum and cherry character and a mushroomlike aftertaste." 85
- Wine Spectator
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