Global Masters Wine of the Week: Banfi Excelsus 2015

Every week we select a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from our competition series, and tell you why the judges loved it. Enter The Global Masters and this could be your wine.

Scotland and Italy go head-to-head in the Six Nations on Saturday, and what better excuse do you need to crack out a glorious high end Super Tuscan?

This one, from historic estate Banfi, is slightly unusual as it is made with Merlot grapes grown in Montalcino, an area of Italy normally reserved exclusively for Sangiovese, specifically, in producing Brunello.

While the grapes may have originated in France, this wine is unmistakably Italian, with a voluptuous bouquet of sweet cassis, intense blueberry and blackberry jam. When it came to the taste test, our panel of experts said this particular wine had the full-bodied mouthfeel you’d hope for in a big Tuscan red, with sweet black fruit shining through as well as a touch of cedar oak and spice. The tannins were on the dry side, but this is no bad thing, as while the Excelsus is thoroughly enjoyable as it is now, it would certainly withstand a few years in the cellar and come out even better for it.

If you plan to open a wine like this now rather than storing it away, we’d recommend serving with steak to give those tannins something to work on. Perhaps a haunch of venison or some haggis so you can show support for both sides at the weekend? Or, if you’re supporting Italy, perhaps a thematically appropriate cut of Chianina beef, which gives us those huge “Florentine” (T-bone) steaks.

The wine: Banfi Excelsus

The source: Toscana, Italy

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

Vintage: 2015

ABV: 14.5%

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

The winemaker/cellarmaster: Gabriele Pazzaglia

The price: Around £50

The medal: Master – The Tuscan Masters, 2019

With high quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star.

It’s a competition dedicated to making winners out of winemakers.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or please call +44 (0)20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at: sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

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