Italian wines fascinate me. Regulated more than US wines, they have the ability to excite the taste buds in a variety of complex ways. Recently I received a sample of Brancaia 2011 TRE. I found this to be delightful, and a very good example of a Super Tuscan!
The Brancaia TRE is a blend of three grapes from three Italian vineyards in the Tuscany region. The selected grapes bring out the best of the Italian hill and coastal influences and invite one to enjoy the complexities of each.
From the hills of Chianti are the grapes from Brancaia Estate and Poppi Vineyard. From the coast come the grapes from the Brancaia growing area in Maremma. From Brancaia Estate the winemaker (Barbara Widmer) uses Sangiovese, from Poppi, the Merlot and from Brancaia Maremma the Cabernet Sauvignon. This red blend is smooth, easy to sip and light on the palate.
The Widmer family founded the Estates more than 30 years ago, choosing properties which offered a variety of planting opportunities. From these plantings comes the TRE, a Super Tuscan with both pedigree and class.
For the TRE 2011 blend, the weather was a challenge. Early on in the season it was unusually warm, but as the spring moved forward, the weather cooled off. Spring brought little rain, and the warm weather caused the grapes to arrive early. Later periods of heat and cool slowed the grape growth and allowed the property management to select proper canopy coverings to protect the berries from late season high temperatures.
Harvest in the fields was done slowly and by individual hand selection of the berries. After gentle pressing, the grapes were gravity fed into cone-shaped stainless cylinders and then fermented at a temperature never exceeding 89°F. The wine was then aged for 12 months in new and used French Oak with a medium toast.
The result of all this care is a classic Super Tuscan Red Blend (Rosso Toscano). The ruby-red color is a pleasure to behold and the berries on the palate speak well for the actual blending by Widmer. The wine comes out with a 13.5% alcohol and you will enjoy the tannins on the palate.
This is a nice wine for almost any occasion and certainly speaks well again for a beautiful Super Tuscan.