An Italian Gem from Banfi at Under $16.00

Did you miss the September 1st release of the Castello Banfi 2010 Centine, I sure did, but I’m glad I got a chance to taste it now.  I was at a Banfi tasting seminar earlier this week and amongst the 40 and 60-plus dollar bottles of wine was this gem that seems to have snuck into Vintages almost unnoticed.  Banfi is a winery that has been around for centuries so they have earned their stripes to release high priced wines, but the fact that they’re also releasing great value wines for the rest of us is also a bonus.  The 2010 Centine is a blend of Sangiovese (60%) – a grape native to Italy – and 20% each of the international grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  For those that done dig on too much oak in your wines you’ll love this one, for those that like nuanced complexity in their wines you’ll love it too, and if you’re just a plain old drinker of wine, you’ll also find something to enjoy here.  The wine was aged in barrel for about six-months so there isn’t too much of that woodiness here, what you do end up with is a wine that is loaded with licorice, cassis, raspberry and dark berries:  a real mouth-pleaser (and for those that like to sniff it has something for you too – a real allure to the olfactories).  The 2010 Centine has a very rustic Italian quality to it, yet also seems to have modern flair.  I was very impressed, and hopefully you will be too.  It’s in Vintages now so be sure to grab some before it’s all gone.  For those looking to cellar this is a great candidate to lie down for the next 5-6 years.  Banfi 2010 Centine Toscana (Red) – $15.95 (#947440).   Rating: 4-stars – very good.