Bibendum, the UK wine merchant, has signed an exclusive distribution deal in the UK with Italy's Castello Banfi, one of the largest producers of Brunello di Montalcino wines.

Bibendum will begin distributing Tuscany-based Castello Banfi's portfolio from 1 July, said the merchant yesterday (8 June).

Stuart Grundy, the Bibendum buyer who negotiated the deal, said: "It is quite rare to encounter a beautiful estate with such fabulous wines, such a strong identity, and such commercial savvy. And from Banfi's point of view, access to an award-winning national sales network was an absolute priority for their brand and sales development in the UK."

Banfi wines to be offered by Bibendum range in price from Le Rime Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio Toscana 2008 at GBP7.13 to Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Poggio all'Oro 1999/2004 at GBP59.99.

Last year, Italian police confiscated Banfi's stocks of Brunello di Montalcino 2003, as part of a wider fraud investigation in the Tuscan wine enclave. Stocks were later released and no charges brought.

Banfi produces around 600,000 bottles per year of Brunello di Montalcino, which is recognised as one of the world's top wine regions.