2015 Brancaia "Ilatraia" Rosso di Toscana

SKU #1323809 96 points James Suckling

 Aromas of black licorice and blackberry. Blueberry, too. This is so complex. Full body, extremely silky and polished with lovely tannins. Deep and long. It seems powerful and rich yet ends so balanced and refined.  (10/2017)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Ilatraia is a drop-dead gorgeous blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Franc with all fruit coming from Brancaia's Maremma vineyards along the Tuscan coast. This warm vintage has shaped an exuberant and intense red wine that hits the palate with lavish richness. The complex bouquet is composed of dark fruit elements that are contrasted seamlessly against spice, sweet tobacco and campfire ash. Yet the mouthfeel is never too heavy or over-extracted. There's a lot to enjoy here. (ML)  (10/2018)

93 points Vinous

 The 2015 Ilatraia is a dark, fleshy wine. Blackberry jam, espresso, grilled herbs, menthol, licorice and lavender infuse this fleshy, wonderfully resonant Maremma blend. Powerful and racy in the glass, the 2015 offers plenty of near and medium-term appeal. Depth and a real sense of gravitas infuse this succulent red from the Tuscan coast. (AG)  (2/2019)

93 points Wine Spectator

 A beast, featuring plum, black currant, leather and earth flavors locked in a tight grip of tannins. A bit closed now, yet remains balanced and long on the iron-tinged finish. Best from 2022 through 2035. (BS)  (3/2019)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, this wine offers aromas of dark-skinned berry, cedar and cooking spice. The full-bodied palate delivers black currant jam, star anise, clove and tobacco alongside fine-grained tannins. (KO)  (4/2019)

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Price: $49.99
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By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/20/2019 | Send Email
Ilatraia captures the unique environs of the Tuscan coastal zone of Maremma affected by sun, sea and soil, and is an exuberant expression of Bordeaux grapes varieties. It's rich in flavor and texture and coats the palate with concentrated black fruit with highlights of French oak. This will especially appeal to those preferring softer and riper style wines that can be enjoyed now or cellared.

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/17/2019 | Send Email
What is this awesome Rosso?! The nose is dusty and subtly herbal, the palate plush with dark plum and blackberry fruit, yet the wine stays agile through to the long, structured finish. There is roundness and oak, plus food-loving tannins. Interestingly, the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot feels more reminiscent of Bordeaux than Italy, but the hint of savory olive reminds you that this release is definitely Tuscan. This could be both a crowd-pleasing wine as well as an option for connoisseurs looking for something new. Either way, the 2015 Brancaia Ilatraia is a delicious must-try.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/17/2019 | Send Email
Brancaia burst onto the scene many years ago and their wines have been a store staple as long as I can remember. They’ve been winning awards and turning heads since the early 80s. So it should come as no surprise that 2015 (an amazing vintage) has produced another blockbuster. This Bordeaux blend possesses loads of black current, blackberry, and exuberant flavors supported by that prototypical spine of acidity so unique to Tuscan wines. This full-bodied, robust red is surprisingly light on its feet. If you’re a fan of Super-Tuscan wines, you must try the 2015 Ilatraia.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/17/2019 | Send Email
This wine smells like it belongs at K&L, this is Bordeaux meets Tuscany in a bottle. The nose is dark, bold, and rich with fruit tones that speak of Right Bank Bordeaux backed with that savory herbal Tuscan Sotto Bosco. The palate is rich and full but not heavy the fruit, spice and herbal notes are carried with just enough tannins that make you want a steak but not enough to require one. This is a "super Tuscan" deserving of the moniker.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2019 | Send Email
The coastal growing areas of Tuscany are the opposite of the west coast of North America where frigid waters cool the hot days, while the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea are warm and easy in the summer months and give and ideal growing season for Bordeaux varietals. The nose of this wine is a blend of fruit and earth but more Sonoma style fruit, less obvious sweetness, more olive and herb, dark fruit than chocolate. The wine is aged for 18 months in new French barriques but no obvious barrel flavors are evident. On the palate the wine shows body and depth yet while being linear it is very supple, super smooth, fine grain tannins outline the structure but never harsh. This shows a long, long finish where dark fruit and herbs remain. This wine will age quite well but is approachable to drink now.
Drink from 2019 to 2035

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2019 | Send Email
Aromatically, this is a wine hints at being hedonistic and deeply fruited. But on the palate, it is incredibly refined and featherweight - with remarkable purity. The fruit profile is more on the black-fruited side of the spectrum, but it carries itself gracefully on a seamless palate that finishes with good burst of a acidity and a long, engaging finish. A very polished wine, this will quickly find a lot of fans for those searching out the best of Super Tuscan blends that feature Bordeaux varietals. A great vintage for Ilatraia.

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.


Specific Appellation:

Super Tuscan

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5