Castello Banfi will release its 1999 Moscadello di Montalcino DOC under the new proprietary name of "Florus." An ancient Florentine term for the symbol that the French call the "fleur de lis," used on gold coinage of the middle ages in Tuscany, Florus also denotes something luxuriant like an abundant bouquet of flowers.
Florus is made exclusively from Moscadello grapes grown on the Castello Banfi estate and late harvested for greater intensity of flavor. The nectar-rich raisins are gently pressed and fermented at low temperatures over several months. The base of 85% of the wine from the vintage year shown on the label is then blended with 15% of the same wine from the previous vintage that had been aged in barriques of French oak for one year, and subsequently bottled. Its color is rich and golden with a flowery and musky bouquet. The taste is sweet, full and warm with hints of honey, raisins and exotic fruits.
The 500ml bottle sports a round buff colored label framed with an etched wreath of golden Moscadello vines. Clear glass highlights the wines brilliant pale gold hues. Florus is available in restaurants and fine wine shops in the US, where it sells for around $17.00.
Together with Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello is one of Montalcino's three traditional wines and perhaps its most historic. It was cited in the Renaissance poetry of Francesco Redi and recommended by Sante Lucerio, a famous historian of Italian wines and cellar master to Pope Paul III.