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Brancaia Ilatraia 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS92
  • RP91
  • WE91
14% ABV
  • RP97
  • JS94
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WE92
  • JS94
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • W&S90
  • WS94
  • JS93
  • RP93
  • WE90
  • TP91
  • WS90
  • WS96
  • JS94
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WS92
  • WS96
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Concentrated flavors of currant, herb and blackberry pair well with meat and game, and roasted or braised poultry such as chicken or duck.

Ilatraia is the first wine from our new estate in the Maremma: Brancaia in Maremma. Only 62 miles from Brancaia (Chianti Classico) we find a completely different climate – winters are milder and summers are much hotter and very dry. This allows us to produce a wine with distinct varietal character with the same high quality standards. Ilatraia is an intense, elegant and terroir-typical blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot. It ages for 18 months in barriques. The name Ilatraia has been the name of a hill on our estate for centuries – today it is a Petit Verdot vineyard.

Blend:
60% Cabernet Sauvignon
30% Sangiovese
10% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Aromas of blackberry and mineral, with hints of fresh herbs. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and a long, caressing finish. Balanced and pretty. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot. Best after 2009. 2,750 cases made.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
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Brancaia

Brancaia

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Brancaia, 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.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

YNG182421_2005 Item# 110301