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Old 08-24-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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1997 Castello Baniffi Brunello

I bought a bottle of this back in 99 while in Italy. I just found out it ranked #3 in 2002 wine of the year lists. I plan on opening this for the first meal in my new house. I think 12 years is enough to wait to drink it.

So I was wondering if anyone might have a suggestion on a good food pairing with this bottle of big red wine. I plan on going to whole foods and cooking a meal for 2. One thing I've considered is buffalo fillets if they have them.
I haven't thought any further into it, but I think I need ideas other then just fillet to go on.

So, give me your dream meal to pair this wine with.

thanks
phil

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:35 PM   #2
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Castello Banfi makes some REALLY top wines, imho. and the people who own/run it are really nice, to boot. I have a bottle of the 98 Brunello di Montalcino in my little collection and am thinking of opening it this winter.

Personally, I don't like to drink big red wines in hot weather. They feel too "heavy" to me. Kinda like eating osso buco in August, which seems too heavy to me for all the heat and humidity. It's Osso Buco (braised veal shanks) that I'm thinking of serving when I open my Brunello.

If you're bound and determined to drink yours now, I'd recommend Porterhouse rather than filet. Brunello is a big wine, and Porterhouse is a big steak. I think you'd like them together.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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June, I'm pretty much with you with big reds in the summer. I would pair the Brunello with a heavy red pasta dish or a good piece of beef. A 2 rib (3 inch) cut of Prime Rib would work well IMO. I make my Osso Bucco with only a light tomato, and more mirapoix base, and a Brunello to me would be too heavy. Either way, I think that I would hold the bottle until cooler weather.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:06 PM   #4
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My Osso Buco is with a Cipolline sauce. No tomatoes.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:09 PM   #5
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I also bought a couple of bottles of 1997 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino while in Italy, paying way too much (as it turned out the wine was a lot cheaper in the U.S.). I still have one bottle.

I keep a database of notes on the wines in my cellar. Below is what Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, and Steve Tanzer have said about the wine. My impression of the first bottle was closer to Parker's assessment, which seems consistent with the majority of the posts on the Wine Advocate Bulletin Board. It's possible, however, that because of the huge production (32,500 bottles) that there's a lot of variation from bottle to bottle. In any case, your bottle should be ready -- assuming you've kept it properly (cool, relatively constant temperatures and out of the light).

Here are the experts' comments:
Wine Spectator, June 30, 2002, 94 Points: "A Brunello for everyone. Solid and focused, with mineral, blackberry and licorice character. Full-bodied and very chunky, with lots of round tannins and a long, long finish. Needs time to open. Best after 2003. 32,500 cases made. - JS"

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2002, Rank: No. 3

Wine Spectator, 12/15/07, 1997 Italy Retrospective: 94 Points. No notes.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #144, December 2002, 86 Points: "The internationally-styled, dark ruby/garnet-colored 1997 Brunello di Montalcino is somewhat one-dimensional, offering straightforward aromas of sweet new oak, black cherries, and currant fruit. In the mouth, it is medium-bodied and clean with a modest finish. There is sweet fruit, but little complexity, depth, or length. However, it is one of the finest wines this estate has yet produced. Drink it over the next decade. Drink 2002 - 2012"

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "97 out of 100...Very dark garnet with saturated purple hues. Penetrating aromas of underbrush, sweet tobacco and wild mushroom. Quite juicy, but also sumptuous and deep, with rich flavors of mocha, espresso and anise over a firm mineral backbone. There is no evidence of excess weight in spite of the wine generous structure. The long close features glossy tannins and a flavor of cassis. At once powerful and elegant. Among the largest producers in Montalcino, Castello Banfi is arguably the one making the best Brunellos today, with a remarkable string of successes since 1990."
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
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Well the fact is Fall is right around the corner. But I still will probably drink it with this meal. I like the osso bucco Ideas.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:52 AM   #7
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I would try just some very expensive steak because what you have there is a rarity!
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