The wines of Italy used to be wines of tremendous value, not always the finest or most ageworthy, but just good, solid values. Then something changed… a string of successive vintages where the flagship wines of Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino and those pesky “Super Tuscans” were all absolute gems! Say goodbye to value and hello to the inevitable price creep.

All that aside, sometimes it just doesn’t matter… Last night we enjoyed a fabulous bottle of Brunello from a long-favorite producer: Castello Banfi. We have been enjoying these wines since the mid-90’s and have had the fortune of collecting a nice little vertical.. Well the 2006 needs to find a way into our cellar – magnificent, majestic with refined, yet potent tannin. Deep, dark fruit core with a wonderful melange of flavors: anise, cherry, cocoa dust, saddle leather and violets delight the palate. Long on the finish, smooth, suggesting many years of aging potential, perhaps 15+ years.

The wine went perfectly with our food: a perfectly trimmed filet and a gigantic stuffed veal chop – Heaven!