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Fonterutoli Brancaia 1999

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Produced on the farm of the same name, this wine is derived from Sangiovese grapes along with Merlot (a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon has been added beginning with the 1998 vintage). It is a delectably modern wine with an outstanding structure, softness and fine aromas.

    Alcohol: 13.50% by volume

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fonterutoli

    Castello di Fonterutoli

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    Castello di Fonterutoli, Tuscany, Italy
    Image of winery
    Castello di Fonterutoli, source of some of Italy's most prestigious wines, is an historic property embracing an entire tranquil, centuries-old hamlet just south of Castellina in Chianti, in the heart of Chianti Classico. The estate has been in the hands of the Mazzei family – devoted to winemaking for 24 generations – since 1435 and is today led by Lapo Mazzei and his sons, Francesco and Filippo.

    This dynamic family has carefully safeguarded the inherent beauty and rich heritage of Fonterutoli, while simultaneously implementing measures to ensure cutting-edge quality in the vineyards and cellars. An exciting example of this dedication to quality is the in-progress construction of a stunning new cellar that operates via gravity and clean energy, and has already been defined as "the most impressive in the entire Chianti region" by Steven Spurrier of Decanter Magazine.

    One of the most iconic regions of Italy 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, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

    Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. 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, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

    Other Red Blends

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    With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    MNC7426F_1999 Item# 50500