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Flat front label of wine

Brancaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2008

Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP91
13.5% ABV
  • JS92
  • JS93
  • RP91
  • D90
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Brancaia Chianti Classico Riserva is produced from the best Sangiovese grapes from Brancaia and Poppi and then blended with a touch of Merlot.

Pair with grilled meats, beef and veal roasts, stews, grilled fish and pasta dishes with strong sauces.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Chianti Classico flows from the glass with dark cherries, sweet French oak, new leather and earthiness. This is a rich, bold style of Chianti Classico with tons of fruit – especially for the vintage – supported by French oak, but everything comes together beautifully in the glass. Readers should not expect much in the way of Sangiovese character (the addition of Merlot seems on the generous side), but it is impossible to find fault with the wine's overall balance and poise.
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Brancaia

Brancaia

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Brancaia, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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La Brancaia, encompassing the two estates Brancaia and Poppi, has been owned by the Swiss couple Brigitte and Bruno Widmer since 1981. It is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico area and saw a vertical take-off when it's vintage 1983 won first place at a major Chianti Classico tasting. Since then, through uncompromising dedication to quality and a strong own identity, the continuous recognition of BRANCAIA was built up - spearheaded by the estates top-wine Brancaia IL BLU, being already a classic for many wine lovers all over the world. The wines come from a state-of-the-art cellar. The estate is managed by the oenologist and daughter of the owners, Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer, together with her husband Martin Kronenberg. They enjoy consulting support by the brilliant oenologist Dr. Carlo Ferrini. La Brancaia is one of Tuscany's top wine-growing estates, winning national and international awards every year. Its wines are sold - and bought - all over the world.

Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

WWH128568_2008 Item# 118688