Italy's leading wine guide, Gambero Rosso's Guida Ai Vini d'Italia (Guide to Italian Wines) 2001 has awarded the elite "Tre Bicchieri" or "Three Glasses" distinction to the 1997 vintage of Castello Banfi SummuS, along with a star signifying the estate's tenth year in the "Tre Bicchieri" category. The 1988 and 1995 vintages of SummuS rated three glasses in past editions of the guide, as has the estate's ExcelsuS '93 and Poggio all'Oro Brunello di Montalcino '90 and '93.
The 2001 guide presents the history and output of 1,681 producers, describes and assesses 12,045 wines and designates only 230 of them into the select group of great Italian wines with its "Three Glasses" award. In blind tastings carried out over several months, teams of experts (over 60 tasters in all) sample wines from the wine regions of Italy. The guide described SummuS as "outstanding" and recognized Castello Banfi as "the undisputed leader in Montalcino both for the size of its estate as well as for the consistent quality of its wines."
This year's guide also highlighted several other Castello Banfi wines, including Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 1995 ("characterized by a ready and pleasurable drinkability."), Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino 1998 ("A wine of beautiful fullness and extract"), Centine 1998 ("A house classic") and the "triad" of Tavernelle, Mandrielle and Colvecchio 1997 ("moving along the same direction: clean bouquet, balanced, good wood, good fruit.")
Published in Italian, German and English with a worldwide circulation of over 100,000, Gambero Rosso's wine guide is well known for its impartial, independent and reliable evaluations of wine based on the thousands of blind tastings. The 2001 guide is the fourteenth edition of this most complete and influential Italian wine guide on the market.