Wine of the Week: Banfi Chianti Superiore DOCG 2012

This Chianti, mostly from the Sangiovese grape, is a classified wine, and the DOCG means Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.  That ought to mean something but it doesn't mean all that much. Still, this is a very nice bottle of wine, especially for 11 bucks, which is about what you'll pay of for it in most wine stores, though you can find it in places for as little as $9.  A great value either way. A nice ruby red color, this is a medium-bodied, easy-drinking wine that won't bowl you over.  But it's got some tannin for structure, a little leathery, and fresh black cherry and plum flavors. What I noticed above everything else is that it's nicely acidic…

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Wine of the Week: Banfi Chianti Classico 2008

For thirteen bucks, you really can't do much better. That's my opinion, and it's also the opinion of a bunch of wine Judges at the Ultimate Wine Challenge in NY City this past May. Normally I don't put too much stock in wine contests, but this one I liked, especially as the tastings were blind and the top scorers were were then tasted by a whole different group of judges. And they put a lot of emphasis on affordable and value wines.  This is certainly one of them. Anyway, what a great food wine: medium bodied, with flavors of black and bing cherries, a hint of leather, nice acidity, and enough tannin to chew on but not overwhelm you. Most of this is Sangiovese,…

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Great Wine From “The Mondavis Of Chile”

I had the pleasure of having lunch - and more importantly, tasting wines - last week with the winemaker of Chile's Vinedos Emiliana along with the estate's owner, Jose Guilisasti. I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but I was pleasantly, even astonishingly, surprised at how good the wines are.  I say this because in my salad days, in college after six years in the Marine Corps, I was only able to afford a meager three or four dollars for what was often a bottle of very, well, "rustic" red from Chile with a label that looked like a kindergarten coloring project.  What I tasted last week as a guest of Banfi Vintners at midtown NYC's Il Tinello restaurant was something…

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