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La Braccesca Achelo Syrah Cortona 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS92
13% ABV
  • WS89
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A brilliant purple color, the 2014 Achelo Syrah displays aromas of white fruit and plums. On the palate, the wine is sweet and savory, with additional hints of spice. The wine finishes with supple tannins and lingering notes of fresh fruit.

The wine is named after Achelous, the Greek figure who gave us the cornucopia, or horn of plenty.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
The smoky cherry, strawberry and raspberry fruit takes on mineral and tobacco notes in this elegant, distinctive red, revealing a meaty element. The finish is juicy, with an accent of black pepper.
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La Braccesca

La Braccesca

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La Braccesca, Tuscany, Italy
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Located few kilometers from Montepulciano, where southeastern Tuscany borders Umbria and Lazio, La Braccesca Estate is immersed in a pristine environment greatly loved and admired by travelers from all over the world. Montepulciano is the land of renowned "Vino Nobile", a wine appreciated already centuries ago by the Medici family. In the early 1990s, the Marchesi Antinori brought their experience, respect for tradition and capacity for innovation to this land of history and culture.

One of La Braccesca's strengths is the harmony between the past and the future, reached through a strong knowledge of winemaking and a infinite passion for quality. These qualities represent the mission statement of a young dynamic winery in one of the most prestigious winemaking areas of Italy.

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, 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 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, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. 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 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 and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

SOU480124_2014 Item# 355732