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Brancaia Ilatraia 2013

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • RP97
  • JS94
  • WS92
  • WE92
14.5% ABV
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4.2 20 Ratings
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4.2 20 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Named for a hillside in our Brancaia in Maremma estate vineyard, our fruit forward 2013 ILATRAIA is distinctively rich. ILATRAIA has intense aromas and flavors of black cherry, plum, blueberry and spice, backed by ultra-fine tannins on the full-bodied palate, while subtle notes of coffee and licorice are found on the lingering finish.

Located just a few miles from the Mediterranean coastline, Brancaia in Maremma is rugged with a west-southwest exposure and mostly sandy clay soil at the foothills of the nearby Uccellina Mountains.

Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot, 20% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Wow. The 2013 Ilatraia jumps right out at you. This is a tremendous effort - I tasted this wine three times blind and it always came out on top. Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) is blended with Petit Verdot (40%) and Cabernet Franc (20%). The complexity and the ever-changing nature of the bouquet is mind-bending. Ilatraia shows enormous depth and sophistication, and it leaves a profound impact. The wine sports deep color saturation with brilliant flashes of dark ruby. The texture is immensely soft, yielding and seamless in its integration. Dark fruit and blackberry is followed by light notes of tobacco, toasted nut and scorched earth. I am in awe of its complexity.
JS 94
James Suckling
Aromas of licorice with blackberries and hints of graphite. Full and juicy with chewy tannins. Very polished. Needs at least three years to open. A wine with classy structure.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This bright version combines black cherry, plum, spice, iron and tobacco flavors. The stiff, dusty tannins gain the upper hand for now, but this should develop nicely. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2019 through 2028.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Made with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc, this opens with aromas of mature black-skinned fruit, sunbaked earth and a whiff of cedar. The concentrated, polished palate delivers juicy black cherry, grilled herb, clove and tobacco. Firm velvety tannins provide support.
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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.

WWH149483_2013 Item# 379410