(Montalcino, February 2007) - Vintage 2002 has once again demonstrated the stylistic winemaking strengths and microclimatic diversity within the Brunello di Montalcino growing zone, and how they can make a difference in key years.
A warm, dry start to the season yielded to heavy rains in the key growing months of August and September, delaying normal development and calling for careful vineyard management to secure healthy fruit. Across the contiguous 2830 hectare (7100 acre) Castello Banfi estate, where one-third of the property is dedicated to a constellation of single vineyards, a geographic range between 38 soil types, and elevations varying between 150 and 350 meters above sea level, there is an incredible playing field on which to best interpret and understand vintage conditions. Vineyards planted with ample space between rows also played a positive role, allowing for optimal airflow and avoiding risk of mold. The size of the operation allows for quick reaction and deployment at harvest time, which enabled harvesting of the fruit at just the right moment and brought it to the winery in the healthiest possible condition. At the same time, the decision was made to declassify the grapes from the cru Poggio alle Mura and single vineyard Poggio all’Oro Riserva, with a a rigorous selection of only the very best grapes going into Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino. The balance was used to make an exceptional Rosso di Montalcino in 2002 along with super Tuscan cuvees that include Sangiovese.
The unusually cool temperatures of the season helped preserve the aromatics of the fruit and yielded an elevated acidity that balanced the wine during its barrel aging. As a result the wine is complex yet rewarding, with deep ruby red color and a gentle bouquet hinting at tobacco behind fruity notes of plum, cherry and a hint of leather. The tannins are potent yet silky, giving the wine powerful structure and a persistent finish. Thanks to this elegant balance, the wine is already quite enjoyable and will benefit from medium to long-term aging.
The family owned Castello Banfi vineyard estate and winery is the first in the world to be awarded international recognition for exceptional environmental, ethical and social responsibility (ISO 14001 and SAS000) as well as customer satisfaction (ISO 9001:2000). Castello Banfi was also declared “International Winery of the Year” an unprecedented four times and Italy’s “Best Wine Estate” an unprecedented 11 consecutive years at the VinItaly wine fair in Verona, Italy. A medieval castle crowning the estate serves as a hospitality center for the region, housing the Michelin-starred Ristorante Castello Banfi, the more informal Taverna, and luxury rooms and suites in Il Borgo, as well as an enoteca and a museum tracing the history of glass as it relates to wine.