Tasted and rated: the top wines from the Tuscan Masters 2019

Banfi, Excelsus, 2015

This delicious red blend is certainly a rarity in its source region, because it’s made from Bordeaux grapes Cabernet and Merlot grown on the slopes of Montalcino – an area almost exclusively planted with Sangiovese for producing one of Italy’s most sought-after wines: Brunello.

Proving the quality of the vine-growing sites in this famous part of Tuscany, even these alien grapes yield something of strength and elegance, showing some of Cabernet’s typical cassis character, some of Merlot’s blueberry sweetness, and some of Montalcino’s finesse, complete with its characteristic dry fine dense tannins and a notes of cedar and cigar smoke. Also, while it’s a lovely wine now, it undoubtedly has the capacity to mature into something softer and more complex over the next 10 years.

The wine: Banfi, Excelsus, 2015

The source: Toscana, IGT, Italy

The grape(s): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot

The style: A youthful, full-bodied complex red with dry tannins and flavours of blackcurrant and cedar.

The price: Around £50

The medal: Master – The Tuscan Masters, 2019

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