Winery: Erik Banti
Varietal: Sangiovese Blend
Country: Italy
Region: Tuscany > Toscana Igt
Vintage: 2006
Price: $11.99

Cynthia’s Review:

I liked this wine. This wasn’t much of a surprise to me when I read the label and discovered that it contained 70% Sangiovese grapes. Although I am a beginner when it comes to wine- I love the Tuscan wines, and I recognized this name. (Although it seems to be spelled in a variety of ways, depending upon the native language of the label designer) The remaining recipe for this wine is 25% Merlot and 5% Sirah. (Sirah is also subject to imaginative spelling it seems !) We decanted this wine about 15 minutes before dinner.  I still don’t know exactly why letting the air get to the wine is a good thing, but maybe that’s because I worked for years in the grocery industry, where we spent all our time frantically trying to keep air out of practically everything utilizing skillfully designed packaging. We served this wine with a rather heavy meal- pork loin, augratin potatoes and creamed spinach- and the wine stood up to the challenge. Typically, I am a vegetarian, and don’t consume much of the meat portion of the meal, but I did eat a few bites of pork loin, just so that I could see how it paired with the wine. I actually did notice a difference- the wine seemed a bit heavy with just the vegetables, but that heaviness disappeared when I added the pork loin to my plate. The label also indicates that the wine has been aged for 12 months in American and Slovenian oak barrels.  Slovenian???  Maybe someone out there can tell me what the particular benefits of Slovenian oak are???  At any rate, I repeat, I liked this wine: I give it a “yay”.  Gerald is 2 for 2 thus far!

Jay’s Review:

The Toscana Carato is not a heavy red wine, though the color might make you think otherwise. It smells fantastic! To the tastbuds, it is mildly complex, but not overwhelming at all. Smooth and flavorful it pairs very well with a drier meat dish like the pork loin we had for dinner. I think this would not have been the case had Cynthia prepared the pork with any kind of rich sauce or gravy as it would have overwhelmed the more subtle aspects of this particular wine.

I really do like the blended wines, ESPECIALLY the Super Tuscans and this one seemed to me to be a very nice mix of the well tempered Sangiovese grape and \just the right touch of the bolder Merlot and the spicy Sirah.

I give the Toscan Carato a “yay” and have even saved a few glasses for later consumption. It definitely goes on the list for restocking the wine rack when the challenge is over.

#2 – Erik Banti Toscana Carato

2 thoughts on “#2 – Erik Banti Toscana Carato

  • October 9, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Well I have to admit I really cheated on this one because I knew that Sangiovese is a weakness for Cynthia, but this is a fun Super Tuscan due to the fact that it is not a very heavy Italian. Carato begins with a nice plum note that fades into a soft spicy body finishing with a comfortable dryness. A great Super Tuscan for everyday quaffing however, Jay did state it perfectly that this wine is not strong enough for rich sauces so keep the meal simple.

  • January 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    My niece brought this for Christmas dinner which was as above, a heavy beef tenderloin with potatoes and vegetables. This as recommended by Spec’s and requested to not cause pain to those of us sensitive to red wine headache. The flavor was excellent and contributed to the dinner. I am pleased that one bottle is left for my own consumption.

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