Monday, April 30, 2012

Banfi BelnerO 2007 Red Wine

Banfi BelnerO 2007 Red Wine (Montalcino), $22.99-$37.99, 91 points, is mostly Sangiovese with traces of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The color is garnet tapering to mauve with a clear-silver rim.
Having a complex nose of cherry, cooking spice, cedar, and hints of flowers and earth adds significantly to the wine's appeal.
A medium body carries mouth watering acids and a laid-back tannic presence. There is tons of red berries, cherry and raspberry, very tart and crisp. The juicy black and white pepper finishes this dry red wine nicely.
I liked this wine better than almost anyone else (WS 87 points), but I just dare you to taste this wine side-by-side with the Monte Antico Toscana 2006 red wine (WS 90 points I believe), and let me know what you think. I don't know why I like picking on the WS, but often enough they get under my grape-skin.

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  1. LOL! You're not alone in picking on WS. There is no comparing Belnero to Monte Antico. The latter is nice, but it's $8 nice. The Belnero is a polished effort, and approaches Brunello in stature. It's kind of midway between an RdM and a BdM. Regardless, I'm glad you liked this and I share your sentiment on the wine. Last I tasted it, I think I reviewed it the same as you.


  2. Not just WS. How about Heimoff? I rarely see eye to eye with him.

    Naturally they are all entitled to their opinions, but I question the influence they have on consumer behavior, the wine distribution network and winemakers. The latter, being so influenced by these experts that has fueled the ascent of the "international" style of wine. Wines like--well-- the Monte Antico. Decent enough but ultimately lacking any real personality IMO.

    Is the international style a good thing? Time will tell, but I'm not keen on homogenized wines driven by commercial considerations. It's not supposed to be like drinking a glass of OJ.

    Nice review, BTW.

  3. Sybaritesauvage,
    SH, now you are rattling my political cage:-)
    The international style of wine, I think and the subject is way above my experience/expertise, but I would ponder to guess expresses a pervasive question toward the human condition in general; since it's people that "excite" you, then to extrapolate from that excitement, it would follow that personality in a wine would be a desirable thing. No?
    Today Humphrey Bogart would never pass a screen-test, and people without orthodontic teeth need not apply (Nothing inherently wrong with orthodontic teeth. As I 'automatically write', my point is it appears that the individual gets swallowed by homogeneous elitism along with wine.
    Wow, I'm going to get into trouble for this comment!

    1. I hear you, Bro.

      In the end the key for Gentlemen, such as ourselves, is to avoid being roadkill on the highway to Boringville. Yes, personality counts in every aspect of my life, and so (continuing the metaphor) we can take the road less traveled, which means blessing those bastards at WS for giving a seemingly fine (for I have not myself tasted it) a wine as Banfi BelnerO 2007 such a crappy score. Just wait, I love the smell of an umpimped wine-- the price is about to drop and we will benefit fron that.

      Let the lemmings chase after the Monte Antico...

    2. Sybaritesauvage,
      sorry to disappoint, but Boringville is not only the county I live in, but my middle name, and that's okay for me; however I love to reach (Used to be books) deeply into the lives of great "artists" as yourself and others. I'm always amazed at how many wonderful writers bog with wine as the core of their art. When I add a blog "I follow" (7) it's almost exclusively based on how well they write. There are a number of blogs so well known I don't for obvious reasons, but the blogs I list are diamonds in the rough.

  4. Gents,

    Both of you are making interesting and fine points. I'm no great fan of Wine Spec. but they've done more good in aggreagate than bad to enhance American's knowledge and appreciation for wine. To SS's point, the homogenization is a disappointing thing. To me, Mr. Parker has more to do with that than any other critic. And he's right, wine is not supposed to be like OJ or Coke. If I buy a Brunello, I want it to be like a Brunello, not a Cabernet. Which brings me to my last peeve of this rant: CA Sangiovese. Thankfully, many realize that it's best to leave Sangiovese to the Tuscans. Every one I've tried from CA has been so ripe it's tasted like Zinfandel. What's the point?


  5. Thanks John. So often your rant is wine 101. WS is what it is (Monolithic), and it didn't get that way with an overall bad product. However, there are chinks in their Castello!

  6. Today, surprise, surprise Sargent, I saw this for $18.98 (don't quote me) at the Harvest Market in Bedford.