Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BANFI CENTINE ROSE TUSCANY 2009


Banfi Centine Rose Tuscany

A restaurant which never lets you down is something to be cherished.  In Los Angeles, Denise and I have dined at any number of establishments with up and down results.  Dishes may vary in quality from meal to meal, the food's good but the service isn't, hype doesn't deliver - we've encountered each of these issues all over Southern California.

One restaurant where we have never been let down is Il Buco, on Robertson Boulevard.  This small branch of the Drago family Italian restaurant empire always delivers.  The food is excellent - never less - and their soups are an experience for which my wife lives.  The service is efficient without hurry and the staff is friendly in a familial way.  Waves and smiles always greet us and see us out the door after dinner.

The wine list - as I have written about before - is one of my favorites in Los Angeles.  There's plenty of choice in both Italian and California wines, and my selections always seem surprisingly good - although the surprise really shouldn't be an issue.  "Good" has become expected here.

On a recent lunch visit, a new entry on the list caught my eye - Banfi Centine, a Tuscan rosé which I decided to enjoy with my meal.

This pink wine is quite pink, and looks very pretty in the glass.  A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it is vinified for 14 days with minimal skin contact in stainless steel.  The alcohol content is 12.5% abv.

The nose of the Centine Rosé shows a beautiful fruit salad of raspberry, strawberry and sweet watermelon.  A light strawberry flavor is rooted in minerals.  The acidity doesn't quite seem to be there on the palate, but shows nicely on the finish.

Paired with carrot soup, it's a hit.  The thyme in the soup really sets off the delicate flavors.  The wine also provides a good match for an endive salad with walnuts, pears and gorgonzola. Rosemary chicken also fits very nicely with this lovely rosé.

At Il Buco, the Centine is $7 by the glass, and it sells for around $11 a bottle retail.