~ Montepulciano ~

The La Braccesca estate is the Antinori’s property located in and around the hill town of Montepulciano.  The estate extends over 420 hectares and is composed of two separate blocks. The historic center of the estate is located in Montepulciano and produces the fruit for Vino Nobile, while 162 hectares located in the hills of nearby Cortona produce Syrah for La Braccesca’s “Bramasole”.   Established in 1990,  the quality at La Braccesca has been steadily increasing and the estate is one of the largest in the region.  

~ Clock Tower and Bell Ringer at La Braccesca ~

The 2011 growing season in Montepulciano began with a rainy, but warmer than normal winter.  This allowed for earlier flowering that Spring.   This cool weather generally lasted through Summer until mid August when temperatures rose substantially and remained high until harvest at the end of September.  Of even greater benefit was the variation between daytime high and nighttime lows which allowed the Sangiovese grapes to retain much of their fresh acidity.  

The 2011 La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano  is a blend of 90% Prugnolo Gentile, the local name for Sangiovese, and 10% Merlot.   In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby color with a slighter fade to brick red at the edge of the bowl.  Typical.  

In the glass, the wine portrays a lovely aromatic expression unique to Sangiovese.  Flowers, dried herbs, brown leaf tobacco and spices join the bright crushed berry aroma.  On the palate, the flavors mimic the aromas with berry and cherry flavors supported by supple tannins and crisp acidity.  The tobacco leaf note makes the finish interesting and I sense this wine will develop even more complexity on the palate as it ages.  Tasting somewhat lean on its own,  with braised short ribs and mascarpone polenta, it was a match made in Montepulciano!  Can easily cellar for 2-3 years if you’d like more tertiary flavors in your wine.  Perhaps a bit pricey in this market at $25 compared to some other available Vino Nobile,  but it’s certainly not the most expensive example around.  90 points.  

~  La Braccesca is vinified in oak tonneaux and then bottle aged 12 months prior to release ~

Cin Cin!

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