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centineBanfi is justly famous for revitalizing the reputation of Brunello di Montalcino, one of Tuscany’s storied wines. Centine, a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Merlot, is their entry level wine and their commitment to quality and value is evident even at this price level. This is among the better $10 wines you can find.

It features an aromatic nose showing black cherry, a bit of earth, and subtle hints of vanilla and wood—not very complex but good intensity. The lively, medium-bodied palate is juicy up front with a dry, taut mid-palate and balanced acidity although it shows less acidity than is typical of Italian wines. A spicy, medium-length finish with a minty quality is supported by pleasant, medium-grain tannins that are prominent enough to leave the impression of good structure.

This seems tailor-made for the American market—juicy with no rough edges yet structured enough for wine lovers expecting some old-world backbone.

Stylish and amiable but a little edgy with one foot firmly planted in tradition like Band of Horses’ “Infinite Arms”

Score: 87

Price: $10

Alc: 13.5%

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