Brancaia 2010 Il Blu (94RP 93AG)
- Size: 750ml
- Item Code: 085000020531
- Vintage: 2010
The 2010 Il Blu is 50% Sangiovese with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in oak for up to 20 months. This gorgeous wine shows incredible seamlessness with smooth aromas of cherry and blackberry that fold neatly into savory tones of spice and leather. The quality of the winemaking is impeccable. Il Blu is especially profound in the mouth, where it shows supple tannins and long persistency. It boasts integrated acidity and well-managed tannins. The 2010 vintage shows youthful, nervous energy that bodes well for its future evolution. (RP)
The 2010 Il Blu is an elegant, refined wine with lovely blueberry and blackberry aromas, leading to flavors of chocolate, blackberry and currant on the palate. Crafted with grapes from two of our estate vineyards, Brancaia Estate and Poppi Vineyard, this full-bodied blend has silky tannins and a long, lingering finish. Winemaker Notes
Tuscany is one of the first wine regions in Europe. It is also one of Italy’s top wine producing regions (after Piedmont). Despite producing many wine varieties, Tuscany is best known for: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, and Carmignano.
Chianti Classico is also the region where most Super Tuscans are produced. SuperTuscans are the untraditional Italian wines that use Cabernet Sauvignon as a blend. The IGT classification was created to recognize their quality.
This ancient native Tuscan vine was probably first cultivated very early from the wild “vitis silvestris” by the Etruscans, and is one of Italy’s oldest red varieties. The name, from Latin “sanguis Jovis,” means “blood of Jupiter.”
Now widely disseminated throughout the country, it is Italy’s most prevalent red vine, and beyond its primary concentration in Tuscany is also extensively planted in Emilia-Romanga and Umbria. Genetically highly unstable, it is thought to have split in the early 1800s into two subvarieties, the superior Sangiovese Grosso and the Sangiovese Piccolo, and then into many clonal variations, some of which append a place name to Sangiovese.
Sangiovese is a moderatly warm-climate vine which is neither highly vigorous nor very productive. It ripens late and requires abundant sunlight, ideally planted on well-drained, south and southwest facing slopes. While fairly resistant, Sangiovese fares best in a dry climate and is especially vulnerable to harvest rain. Clay soil can yield good examples, but the finest come from vines planted in a crumbly shale called “galestro” and in a limestone clay called “alberese.” The fruit is low in color and extract, high in acid and tannin, only moderate in sugar and alcohol, and earthy rather than fruity.
Chianti and Chianti Classico absorb the lion’s share of Sangiovese, dominating a blend which may include a little Caniolo, Trebbiano and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is an important component in other D.O.C.G. and D.O.C. wines such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Carmignano, Torgiano, Montefalco Rosso, Pomino and Rosso Piceno, as well as in numerous I.G.T. super Tuscan wines, sometimes with Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. Only in the D.O.C.G. of Brunello di Montalcino is Sangiovese unblended as the specific clone of the variety called Brunello.
The wine’s character varies widely depending on zone of production, but classic Sangiovese offers bone-dry, earthy, tannic wines of medium body, high acidity and bitter cherry fruit offset by notes of herbs, mushrooms and barnyard which evolve to a velvety leatheriness. It takes well to oak contact, which adds notes of vanilla and tobacco. Also grown in Argentina, Romania, Corsica, California, Australia and Chile.
Merlot originated from the Bordeaux region of France. It typically produces a soft, medium-bodied red wine with juicy fruit flavors. A range of fresh flavors such as plums, cherries, blueberries and blackberries mixed with cocoa and blackpepper tones, often dominate this type of red wine. The tannin levels are typically lower than say a Cab and the fruit flavors are typically forward – making this a prime wine candidate for people that are just beginning to drink red wine. Merlot is often used to blend with other varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Merlot is extremely versatile as a food wine pairing well with everything from poultry, red meat and pork, to pastas and salads.
Cabernet Sauvignon makes the most dependable candidate for aging, more often improving into a truly great wine than any other single varietal. With age, its distinctive black currant aroma can develop bouquet nuances of cedar, violets, leather, or cigar box and its typically tannic edge may soften and smooth considerably. It is the most widely planted and significant among the five dominant varieties in the Medoc district of France’s Bordeaux region, as well as the most successful red wine produced in California. Long thought to be an ancient variety, recent genetic studies at U.C. Davis have determined that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually the hybrid offspring of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Cabernet sauvignon berries are small, spherical with black, thick and very tough skin. This toughness makes the grapes fairly resistant to disease and spoilage and able to withstand some autumn rains with little damage. It is a mid to late season ripener. These growth characteristics, along with its flavor appeal have made Cabernet Sauvignon one of the most popular red wine varieties worldwide. The best growing sites for producing quality wines from Cabernet Sauvignon are in moderately warm, semi-arid regions providing a long growing season, on well-drained, not-too-fertile soils. Vineyards in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, much of the Napa Valley, and around the Paso Robles area of the Central Coast have consistently produced the highest-rated California examples. Typically, Cabernet Sauvignon wines smell like black currants with a degree of bell pepper or weediness, varying in intensity with climatic conditions, viticulture practices, and vinification techniques. Climates and vintages that are either too cool or too warm, rich soils, too little sun exposure, premature harvesting, and extended maceration are factors that may lead to more vegetative, less fruity character in the resulting wine.