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Maculan Brentino 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
    13.5% ABV
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    13.5% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Deep ruby-red with garnet hues, the Brentino offers seductive aromas of blackberries and dark cherries, along with hints of cedar and forest due to the year spent aging in French barriques. On the palate, the wine is dry, full-bodied, and harmoniously balanced with firm tannic structure and a persistent finish.

    Recommended with roasted and grilled meat dishes like pancetta-wrapped beef tenderloin or with a hearty dish like spicy sausage ragù served over creamy polenta.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Maculan

    Maculan

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    Maculan, Veneto, Italy
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    For three generations the Maculan family has been selecting and vinifying the best grapes in Breganze, an enchanting village set like a small jewel at the foot of the Alps in Italy’s Veneto region. The surrounding mountains protect the area from cold winds, creating a perfect microclimate for the cultivation of vineyards. But it is Fausto Maculan’s drive and commitment, rather than any accident of nature, which set these wines apart and distinguish Maculan as an innovative and dynamic winery. Designed by Fausto himself, the winery is one of the most stunning small wineries in Italy, an amazing mixture of ingenuity and style. The new winery provides the theatre for a marvelous combination of antique traditions and modern techniques using the latest winemaking technology. Long-held family traditions are respected: from using specially selected vineyards and the careful selection of the bunches of grapes, to aging in new, small oak barrels and conserving the grapes on racks for the production of Torcolato. The fusion of tradition and innovation results in a selection of fresh and fruity whites, well-structured reds and delicious dessert wines. Designed by Fausto himself, the winery is one of the most stunning small wineries in Italy, an amazing mixture of ingenuity and style. The new winery provides the theater for a marvelous combination of antique traditions and modern techniques using the latest winemaking technology. Long-held family traditions are respected, from using highly selected vineyards and the careful selection of the bunches of grapes, to aging in new, small oak barrels and conserving the grapes on racks for the production of Torcolato. The fusion of tradition and innovation results in a selection of fresh and fruity whites, well-structured reds and delicious dessert wines.

    Producing every style of wine and with great success, the Veneto is one of the most multi-faceted wine regions of Italy.

    Veneto's appellation called Valpolicella (meaning “valley of cellars” in Italian) is a series of north to south valleys and is the source of the region’s best red wine with the same name. Valpolicella—the wine—is juicy, spicy, tart and packed full of red cherry flavors. Corvina makes up the backbone of the blend with Rondinella, Molinara, Croatina and others playing supporting roles. Amarone, a dry red, and Recioto, a sweet wine, follow the same blending patterns but are made from grapes left to dry for a few months before pressing. The drying process results in intense, full-bodied, heady and often, quite cerebral wines.

    Soave, based on the indigenous Garganega grape, is the famous white here—made ultra popular in the 1970s at a time when quantity was more important than quality. Today one can find great values on whites from Soave, making it a perfect choice as an everyday sipper! But the more recent local, increased focus on low yields and high quality winemaking in the original Soave zone, now called Soave Classico, gives the real gems of the area. A fine Soave Classico will exhibit a round palate full of flavors such as ripe pear, yellow peach, melon or orange zest and have smoky and floral aromas and a sapid, fresh, mineral-driven finish.

    Much of Italy’s Pinot grigio hails from the Veneto, where the crisp and refreshing style is easy to maintain; the ultra-popular sparkling wine, Prosecco, comes from here as well.

    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.

    SOU41795_2011 Item# 125201