Castello Banfi Wine Dinner Wednesday 9th October 2019

Castello Banfi Wine Dinner

with Jgor Marini, European Export Manager

Wednesday 9th October 2019, 7pm prompt start

Lysses House Hotel, 51 High St, Fareham, PO16 7BQ

Castello Banfi was founded in 1978 by the Mariani family, Italian-Americans who had been involved in wine importing and distribution since 1919. Today the Castello Banfi estate is the largest contiguous vineyard in Europe and includes land in Tuscany and Piedmont. They are probably best know for their Brunello di Montalcino wines, two of which we will be trying this evening. Combining a respect for tradition and the environment with state of the art research and working practices they have helped to transform the region’s wines and established Banfi’s reputation in an impressively short period of time.

Castello Banfi Wine Dinner


Cost’e Rosé 2018


Pre Dinner Wine Tasting

La Pettegola Vermentino 17/18

San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2017

La Lus Albarossa 2017



To Start

A wild mushroom and asparagus risotto topped with
Parmesan cheese and deep fried parsnip

Principessa Gavia Gavi 17/18


To Follow

Wild boar steak with honey, pumpkin puree, mange tout, roasted cubed
potatoes and a blueberry sauce

Brunello Di Montalcino 2013

Brunello Di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura 2013


To Finish 

A light and delicate raspberry parfait with a biscotti biscuit, raspberry and vanilla sauce

Florus Moscadello di Montalcino 2014


Coffee and Petit Fours


A little review of the evening and some photographs

First of all, a huge thank you to both Guy Nightingale of Louis Latour UK and Jgor Marini from Castello Banfi for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and show us the fantastic wines of Castello Banfi. Jgor’s presentation was most informative and it became apparent how important Castello Banfi were in the development and subsequent popularity of Brunello di Montalcino. As well as focusing on the more traditional wines of the region, Banfi have also been most innovative – they planted the first Pinot Grigio in Montalcino in 1982, a warm region, not normally known for white wine production. They are also one of the few producers to make a Moscadello di Montalcino, a late harvested, sweet white wine. Outside of Tuscany in Piedmont, Banfi also a Gavi and a rare red wine made from the little planted Albarossa grape variety.

Castello Banfi Wine Dinner

The wines were excellent across the board. It is always good to be able to show people an “expensive” (or should I say, high quality) Pinot Grigio, as it is an eye opener for most. La Pettegola Vermentino was probably the stand out white wine for me, the Brunellos were both superb and the dessert wine was the perfect way to round out the Italian inspired meal. The two most popular wines on the evening, in terms of sales, were the Vermentino and La Lus Albarossa.

Lastly, thank you to Chef Clive Wright and the staff at Lysses House Hotel for providing an excellent meal, dealing with a large number of wine glasses and keeping the wine flowing. The food and wines matched very well, even if there was a late substitution of Italian style braised beef for the wild boar!

Castello Banfi Wine Dinner
Tasting Notes
Cost’e Rosé 2018
Castello Banfi Cost’e Rosé is a blend of Sangiovese from Montalcino with some Vermentino form the coast with a brief half hour skin contact to give the wine its rose colour. The wine has a pale pink colour with just a hint of orange. There are lifted, sweet strawberry aromas on the nose. On the palate the wine is characterised by more red fruits (cherry and strawberry) with slight herbaceous hints. The wine has a creamy mouthfeel, it is mid-weight in style and has just a little touch of sweetness which leaves a slightly off-dry but fresh, clean finish.

La Pettegola Vermentino 2018
La Pettegola Vermentino has pale straw colour. The nose is packed with apricot and peach aromas, hints of tropical fruit (pineapple) and savoury herbaceous notes. It is full and rich in the mouth with good complexity. The palate is dominated by apricot and white peach flavours with just a hint of bergamot. A fresh, aromatic and dry wine with good, lively acidity. Perfect for a pre-dinner aperitif.

Castello Banfi Wine Dinner
San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2017

Castello Banfi were the first to plant Pinot Grigio in Montalcino in 1982. Vinification in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation. San Angelo Pinot Grigio is a golden straw coloured wine. The nose has aromas of tropical fruit, pear and quince. On the palate there are more pear flavours with hints of honey and spice. Quite full bodied with a pleasing, slightly viscous mouthfeel. A soft and round wine and a great example of what one can do with Pinot Grigio in a slightly warmer wine-growing region.

La Lus Albarossa 2017

The Albarossa grape is a rare beast (there less than 10 hectares throughout Italy). This red wine made from grapes sourced from Banfi’s vineyards in the Piedmont region. Albarossa was thought to be a cross of the two classic Piedmont grape varieties, Barbera and Nebbiolo. In fact, DNA profiling later confirmed Albarossa to be a Barbera and Chatus native to the Ardeche in France) cross. The wine has a lovely, clear dark red / black colour. On the nose there are aromas of smoky, jammy fruit, hints of strawberry confit and tarry notes. A fruit wine with flavours of cherries and blackcurrant on the palate with a hint of almond (cherry bakewell anyone?). Also present are some gentle oak, vanilla and spicy white pepper notes. This is a medium to full bodied wine with soft, silky tannins and a lovely fresh acidity and good length.

Principessa Gavia Gavi 2017

100% Cortese from Banfi’s Piedmont vineyards. Pale straw colour. Aromas of tropical fruit with hints of fennel, more savoury, herbaceous notes as well as the classic Gavi aromas of hazelnuts. Excellent minerality with a slight saline character. A silky, delicate wine with a dry-ish finish.

Castello Banfi Wine Dinner

Brunello Di Montalcino 2013

This is the flagship wine of Castello Banfi, a multi vineyard Brunello di Montalcino. 24 months ageing in barrel and casks, 12 months in bottle prior to release. Good, clear dark red colour with a hint of orange around the rim. The nose is packed with ripe dark fruit blackcurrants, hints of vanilla and smoke, somewhat reminiscent of blackcurrant Chewits! The palate is complex, full and well structured. Ripe red berry and cherries dominate with cassis and spicy nuances in the background. There are grippy tannins but the wine is soft, elegant and velvety with good acidity and a long, lingering finish.

Brunello Di Montalcino Poggio alle Mura 2013

Poggia all Mura is a single vineyard Brunello di Montalcino. Aged 24 months, a higher proportion in French oak barriques, than the standard Brunello. The Poggia all Mura vineyard was planted in 1992 after a decade of research into selecting optimal Sangiovese clones. Compared to their more elegant and traditional Brunello di Montalcino, this is a much more more muscular and powerful wine. The wine has a dark ruby red colour. The nose is aromatic and savoury. It is dominated by red fruit, cherries and fruits of the forest with some funky undergrowth aromas. This is full-bodied, powerful, complex and spicy wine. On the palate there are flavours of ripe plums, dark cherries and dried fruits alongside some well-integrated vanilla-y oak and white pepper spice. The finish is dry, spicy and very long. A very powerful and modern style of Brunello di Montalcino.

Florus Moscadello di Montalcino 2014

Castello Banfi Wine DinnerThe Moscodello di Montalcino DOC was created in 1984. The identity of Moscadello remains a little murky. Some say that it is Muscat d’Alexandria although the DOC laws cite is as Muscat a Petit Grains (Jgor mentioned this was Muscat d’Alexandria). It is a late harvested dessert wine. The base is 85% of the current vintage blended with 15% of the previous vintage that has been aged for 1 year in French oak. This has a fantastic dark, golden brown colour. The nose is aromatic and sweet smelling. It is very definitely Muscat with lots of sweet, spicy grape-y notes alongside hints of caramel and toffee. In the mouth there are flavours of dried fruit, marmalade and candied orange peel. Sweet, honeyed and grape-y with just a hint of spice. A very well structured wine with good, balancing acidity a very long finish.


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