miércoles, 6 de marzo de 2013

Il Bruciato, Guado al Tasso, Tuscany 2010


The Antinori family has been involved in the production of wine for over six centuries, ever since, in 1385, Giovanni di Piero Antinori entered as a member, the “Arte Fiorentina”, the Winemakers’ Guild of the city of Florence.

"The 2010 Bolgheri Il Bruciato bursts from the glass with sweet red cherries, flowers, spices, cinnamon, mint and violets, all of which come through in a vibrant, vinous style meant for drinking over the next few years. The plummy, juicy expression of fruit is highly appealing and also nicely balanced by the wine’s power." 89 Points, Wine Advocate
Price: £21


Cabernet - Merlot - Syrah blends incorporate some of the world's most popular red-wine varieties, each of which are grown in almost every wine-producing country on earth. There are no hard and fast rules on the proportions used - ultimately this is down to the winemaking preferences of the individual producer.

The Cabernet grapes (both Cabernet Sauvianon and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Franck are both classic blending partners for Merlot. whether individually or together. They are in fact the core ingredients of the traditional Bordeaux Blend. Less traditional, but increasingly common, particularly in the New World, is to add a component of Syrah, or Shiraz, to the mix.

This blend is decidedly New World in approach, but has been adopted by various Old World producers over the past couple of decades, notably those in Spain and southern France. This change has come in response to market demands, and goes against the grain of tradition; there is little or no precedent in any French wine region for blending Rhone Valley varieties such as Syrah with the Bordeaux varieties.

The Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah blend has become very popular in Tuscany, where many producers are making export-oriented interpretations of the wine. South Australia is another stronghold for ripe, rich wines made from this blend - although of course Syrah goes by its Australian moniker Shiraz there. In particular, the Barossa Valiev and McLaren Vale are notable for the chocolate and mocha characteristics found in their wines.


Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast just south of Livorno, is one of Italy's most prestigious vineyard areas. Its winemaking zone is made up of sloping coastal vineyards at the foot of the hills between the town of Bolgheri, after which this DOC is named, and the southern part of Castagneto. Located in close proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea, it has been described as 'the golden oasis of the Maremma' (an area of south-western Tuscany and northern Lazio).

In the 1960s the Tuscan wine industry was in need of a shake-up, and Bolgheri became one of the avante-garde areas that helped bring this region back to life. One of the tactics was to start a new trend of non-DOC wines, and in 1968 an innovative style of wine was named the Super Tuscan. The flagship 'Super Tuscan' wine was Sassicaia - a Bordeaux-style red created from vines often (erroneously) reported to have come from Chateau Lafite-Rothschild in Bordeaux. Sassicaia returned Bolgheri and Tuscany into the limelight. Sassicaia was also the first and only Italian wine to be honored with its own single-estate classification: thus in 1994, Bolgheri and Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC were bom.

The main focus of the Bolgheri DOC is the importance of terroir and for this reason, the Bolgheri Rosso and Bolgheri Superiore wines are labeled without the mention of grapes, as terroir is considered more significant than grape varieties. It is also why Bolgheri wines are reputed for their true expressions of terroir.

Nevertheless, the varieties that put Bolgheri on the wine map are the Bordeaux trio Cabernet Sauvianon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. which are the main ingredients in the superiore wine. Syrah and the traditional Tuscan red grape Sanaiovese may comprise up to 50% of the wine each, as can a maximum 30% of Petit Verdot. The plain rosso must be aged for at least ten months, while the superiore must mature for 24 months before release.

The wines from this area are incredibly compact, dark and ruby red in color, which suggests great ageing potential. The heady bouquets are reminiscent of ripe berries, with hints of Mediterranean maquis (the main vegetation along the Mediterranean coastline) and spicy oak. They are characterized by their powerful structure, elegant poise and smooth, rounded natures. A sweetness of fruit on the palate is backed by layers of velvety tannins, a lively, fresh acidity and a long, lingering finish.

In addition to its iconic reds, the Bolgheri DOC title also covers white and rosé wines. The key white wine grape used in Bolgheri Bianco is Vermentino. sometimes with an addition of Sauvianon Blanc and Vioanier. There are some examples of barrel-matured whites which display more complexity. Rosato di Bolgheri can be made from a combination of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and other Tuscan grapes - this produces fresh, fruity and savory rose wines.


Tuscany (Toscana in Italian) is perhaps the most famous of all Italian wine regions. This fact has no doubt been perpetuated by the romance of the region's endless rolling hills and cypress-lined country roads, but it is nonetheless home to some of the world's most prestigious wines.

Situated in central Italy, Tuscany's neighbors are Emilia-Romagna to the north and Umbria and Lazio to the south and east. It also shares a short border with Liguria as it stretches up the Tyrrhenian coast, and Marche as it pushes eastwards towards the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea on the other side of the Italian Peninsula. As is the case with almost all of Italy's 20 regions, Tuscan wine has a rich, diverse history and origins which can be traced back
as far as the fifth century BC.

Today, Tuscany is at the forefront of oenological excellence and offers the world an array of internationally acclaimed wines such as the archetypal Chianti, as well as the renowned Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Alongside Piedmont and Veneto, this region houses a strong complement of
DOCGs and more than 30 DOCs, including the likes of Rosso di Montalcino. Boloheri and Pomino.

Key to the area's prestige is its distinctive terroir. Several factors contribute to an ideal environment for the cultivation of grapes: coastal and mountain climates, a mixture of well-drained and dry soils, predominantly rich in sand and clay, moderately hilly terrain extending towards the Apennine Mountains and excellent topography.

The warm temperatures coming off the coast, combined with the cool breezes from the hills, create a multitude of microclimates. The vineyards planted on hillsides at altitudes of 500-1600ft (150-500m) enjoy increased diurnal temperature variation, thus helping maintain the grape's balance of sugars, acidity and aromatic qualities. One such variety that particularly thrives on these hillside vineyards, performing best in direct sunlight, is Tuscany's signature red grape Sanaiovese.

Considered one of Italy’s ‘greats’, Sangiovese is the mainstay in all but one of Tuscany’s seven red-wine DOCGs. In Montalcino it goes by the name Brunello, hence the name Brunello di Montalcino; it also comes under the guise of Sangiovese Grosso, and in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano it is locally known as Prugnolo Gentile, accompanied by small amounts of native varieties Canaiolo and Mammolo (aka ScjacareHo). Chianti, famed the world over, also features Sangiovese, as well as permitting the addition of small amounts of Canaiolo and Coloring, and international gems Cabernet Sauvianon and Merlot. It is also the basis for Morellino di Scansano (Morellino is the name Scansano locals use for this grape).

With the rise of the ‘Super Tuscans’. Cabernet Sauvignon has become a much more prominent variety in this region. Despite the internationals finding their way into Tuscan wines, native varieties still reign. Another Tuscan treasure is the notable sweet red wine Elba Aleatico Passito. which features the Aleatico grape.

As well as being famed for its reds, Tuscany produces some distinguished whites, one of which has achieved DOCG status (Vernaccia di San Gimianano) The region is also home to the eminent dessert wine Vin Santo (which translates as ‘holy wine’), usually comprising Trebbiano grapes which have been air-dried until the start of Holy Week before being made into wine. Moreover, there are red versions which come under the DOC labels Vin Santo del Chianti. Vin Santo del Chianti Classico and Vin Santo di Montepulciano.

References: farehamwinecellar and wine-searcher 

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