Brancaia 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva (92JS 91AG 90RP)
- Size: 750ml
- Item Code: 285000020548
- Vintage: 2012
“The flower and blueberry character on the nose and palate are impressive. Full body, silky tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold.” (JS)
“The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva is gorgeous. Supple and radiant on the palate, the 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva offers striking delineation and plenty of class. Freshly cut flowers, bright red-fleshed fruit and a touch of French oak blossom nicely in the glass. The inclusion of Merlot gives the Riserva lovely mid-palate pliancy and depth. This is a terrific wine for the year.” (AG)i
“The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva is a lovely expression that deserves attention. I am impressed by the pristine and mellow nature of the bouquet that is enhanced with bright tones of red cherry, wild berry, spice and lightly toasted almond. Sangiovese is blended with 20% Merlot and aged in oak for 15 months. There are sweet oak flavors, although that spice is well integrated within the fleshy and rich nature of the fruit.” (RP)
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.