On the Road with the Grape Guy

Report from - Lunch with Banfi ... April 20, 2012

01 May 2012

There are few lunches you want to miss less than a lunch where you get to taste through an array of Banfi wines (Italy) … on this Friday afternoon I came into Toronto to do just that.  So let’s get right into it.  Eight wines were tasted plus a delicious lunch prepared by the chef’s at Bravi Ristorante (40 Wellington Street) and hosted by Enrico Viglierchio – General Manager of Banfi and Export Manager Javier Rodriguez.

We kicked off with a vintage bubbly from one of their newest projects: Vigna Regali in the Alta Langa region – a region dedicated to Sparkling wine in the traditional method.  The 2008 Cuvee Aurora Rosé ($24.95) is a wine made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes aged in bottle for 24 months.  Interesting to note that the final make up of the wine is made up of 90% current vintage wine and 10% of previous vintage wine aged in barrel, giving the wine a firmer mouthfeel.  This is a very satisfying sparkler with strawberry, black cherry with a slight earthy quality yet is light and refreshing … great finish and nice acidity. (****+)

Sticking with the Vigna Regali line of wines our next wine was the 2008 La Lus Albarossa ($23.95) … a bottle of red made from the new Albarossa grape grown in the Piedmont region.  Albarossa is a crossed between Nebbiolo and Barbera – the two main grapes of Piedmont …Albarossa means “red dawn” – and because there is such an interest in this new grape it’s the dawning of a new era for Piedmontese winemakers.  10 years ago there was only 1 hectare planted, today there is between 50-60 hectares on its way to 100 or more.  The wine is deep and rich with cherry and cranberry notes on the nose and cherry, strawberry and spiced oak on the palate … it has great acidity and a long finish.  A gentle wine with plenty of fruit … juicy and delicious.  Keep an eye peeled for  this is one because you’ll want to pick up a few. (****)

Moving to the mother line ... (read about the other Banfi wines we tried and why the '07 vintage wine will be so different - plus pictures of lunch)


To read about more interesting adventures thru the world of wine check out the On the Road With the Grape Guy blog.


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