- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Banfi, “Centine,” Tuscany, 2004, $12

This vibrant red blend consists of 60 percent sangiovese and equal parts cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Medium-bodied, it offers plenty of bright red berry and plum fruit flavor, enhanced by a subtle but distinctive dusty Italian undertone. Fairly priced, it should show especially well when balmy evenings start inviting you to go outside for early season al fresco suppers.

Blends like this tend to be used in more expensive Italian reds, the so-called “super Tuscans.” These are usually fuller-bodied and more serious, meaning more firmly structured, as they are built for aging. By contrast, “Centine” is a wine to enjoy young. Vivacity constitutes its charm. At the same time, though, there’s nothing thin or watery about this wine. It has plenty of stuffing, enough certainly to complement grilled poultry, pork or even beef when you first fire up the barbecue this spring.

Castello Banfi makes a variety of exciting Tuscan red wines, including a number of those expensive “super” blends. “Centine” constitutes the company’s introduction, and a very agreeable one it is.

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