A bevy of 90+ scores were bestowed on Banfi in the most recent tasting report filed by respected wine critic James Suckling, “Two Great Vintages for Tuscany – 2015 and 2016” (subscription required).
Some quotes from the report:
It’s interesting to think back to a recent pair of great vintages such as 2007 and 2006 in Tuscany and begin to compare them with 2015 and 2016. In general, we think the wines from 2015 and 2016 that we tasted so far seem more precise and better made than those from the last great duo years…
Do remember though that 2015 and 2016 are different vintages and did not make identical wines. The 2015 grape growing season was clearly hotter with less difference between the heat of the day and the coolness of the night. So, the wines tend to be very fruity, sometimes even exotic. In 2016, there was greater diurnal temperature variation, and this suggests why the acidities are a little higher in the wines and the characters slightly less opulent. But don’t get us wrong, there’s a subtleness to the top 2015s that make them irresistible…
I highly recommend buying 2015 and 2016 Tuscan wines … These are wines to marvel at in their frankness and true character. They reflect a maturity in the vineyard and winemaking that translates into real Tuscan wines.
Although you need to subscribe to view the entire report, you can at least see the great reviews for Banfi wines below, which includes a few 2014s mixed in.
This shows dark plums, nutmeg, blackberries and spices. Full body, ripe and round tannins and a chewy finish. Drink in 2020.
Castello Banfi BelnerO 2014
Shows redcurrants and sun-dried tomatoes on the nose with fresh herbs. Medium body, fresh acidity and a fruity finish. Drink now. Predominantly sangiovese.
Castello Banfi Cum Laude 2014
Brambleberries, lemon rind and mint. Medium body, very fresh acidity and a fruity finish. Drink now.
Castello Banfi ExcelsuS 2014
A fresh and fruity red with currants and hints of basil character on the nose and palate. Medium body, firm tannins and a crisp finish. Needs a year or two to come together completely. Drink in 2020.
Castello Banfi SummuS 2014
Shows nettles, spices, blackcurrant essence and Chinese spices. Medium to full body, medium-chewy tannins, tangy acidity and a tight finish. Drink now.
Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 2016
Lots of elderberry compote and redcurrant reduction, as well as freshly squeezed lemons. Medium body, medium tannins and a very fruity finish. Drink now.
Poggio alle Mura Rosso di Montalcino 2016
Shows a delightful combination between pretty blue fruit, bark and resin on the nose. The palate is well defined with round tannins, a welcome streak of acidity and plenty of fruit. Drink now.
Fonte Alle Selva Gran Selezione 2015
Dried cherries, wild strawberries, fresh citrus and orange rind. Full body, polished tannins and a succulent, fresh finish. Drink now.
Fonte Alle Selva 2016
Aromas of strawberries, cherries and white chocolate. Medium body, firm tannins and a fresh, crisp finish. Drink now.
Joe Janish is Director of Public Relations for Banfi Vintners, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and a veteran of the wine industry for over 20 years. He launched one of the first wine blogs back in 1997, the now-defunct “Wine Dictator,” and cut his teeth on his grandfather’s homemade wine. He still keeps a copy of Wine for Dummies nearby for reference.