Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany has released its 1998 Moscadello di Montalcino DOC in a newly designed package. The 500ml bottle sports a round, buff-colored label framed with an etched wreath of golden Moscadello vines. Castello Banfi Moscadello di Montalcino is made exclusively from 100% Moscadello grapes that are estate grown and late harvested for greater intensity of flavor. The nectar-rich raisins are gently pressed and fermented at low temperatures over a period of several months, then filtered and stored at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. 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 which 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 new 500ml Moscadello replaces the 375ml bottle and is now available in restaurants and fine wine shops. It retails 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. As a family-owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany, Castello Banfi's dedication to excellence in the art of winemaking has been recognized by wine aficionados the world over. Capturing honor after prestigious honor, the American-owned estate was declared "International Winery of the Year" for an unprecedented fourth year at the 2000 VinItaly Wine Competition. The winery has also been named Italy's best wine estate every year since 1994.