Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio `09 $18.49 (not TJ's) ***

S. and JPH were at a tasting dinner hosted by Neil Trimble at the Banfi Estate in Old Brookville. This was from all accounts an amazing evening.  Over breakfast, I was regaled with the history of Banfi as we went over the menu and the wines served course by course. (living vicariously has it's perks.  I didn't have a hangover!)

That afternoon, JPH and I went to buy some of the wines they had tasted the night before and over the next few months, we'll be having the bottles one by one.

In these series of posts I'll also talk about Banfi, or as I call it: The House that Riuniti built; a story about wine that could only happen in America. (Even though the wine is mostly Italian) Banfi, is American-owned and was founded in New York in 1919.  They still produce one of America's most popular wines, Riuniti.  Yes, Banfi, who hosted the above mentioned tasting dinner at their Gold Coast Estate was built on "Riuniti on ice...That's Nice."  I'll be reviewing that classic $5.99 wine in the near future.  But for now, it'll be the more expensive cousins, like this San Angelo Pinot Grigio.  The whole story just appeals to my thrifty New England Yankee soul: First generation immigrant builds dynasty by selling a bit of their Europe with a twist - the flair of Madison Avenue, creating an icon of the melting pot that is my America.

On the evening of the tasting, San Angelo Pinot Grigio `09 was paired with their second course: Seared Diver Scallop with Eggplant Relish and Orange Citronette. Sounds yummie, a bit swish (Eggplant Relish??) but still you can't beat most Pinot Grigio with seafood.  (This blog does not condone either seafood or wine abuse)

We had it with Baked Salmon with Carrots and Onions in a butter/white wine sauce, with a side of leftover scalloped potatoes.  It is a bright, grapefruity, crisp wine that really highlighted the tastes of the fish and cut the creaminess of the potatoes and the butter.  All of the flavors worked quite well together.

My tasting notes were "Grapefruit" it was a predominant flavor.  But when I read the wine sheet from Banfi, they say things like Bananna and Peach...  are my taste buds so off? I am still a bit stymied that I could be so contrary.  So I searched other reviews.  The Wine Curmudgeon says pear in his review of this wine as well.

I still think that this is a perfectly good wine.  A bit on the pricey side for me to rave about it.  (remember, I started this wine drinking $3.99 bottles of Trader Joe's plonk).  But as a light, bright, flavorful chilled wine, this is very good.

Simply because they are the "Vintner's Next Door" 
(seriously, we buy our dog food less than a mile 
from their North American headquarters
I'll leave you with a picture of Long Island's beautiful North Shore in Winter:
Banfi Tasting third course:  Banfi Centine Rosso `07 $10.89 (not TJ's)
Banfi Tasting fourth course: Banfi BelnerO `05 $35.99 (Not TJ's) ****

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