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93pt Brancaia Chianti Classico Riserva 2013

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“If I had to make a 2013 Chianti Classico short list, this wine would be on it” robertparker.com

Ever since they came to instant international fame with their incredible 1983 Chianti Classico, Brancaia have establised themselves as one of Tuscany's best estates.

But not content with making one of the great Super-Tuscan wines, the Il Blu, they continue to make superb Chianti and in 2013 they have outdone themselves.

This Riserva, produced from only the best grapes in their Poppi and Brancaia vineyards, is clearly one of the wines of the vintage!

With a coveted Tre Biccheri award from Gambero Rosso (the highest possible award from Italy's greatest wine guide) and glowing reviews from critics and Vivino reviewers alike, this beautiful wine brims with dark fruit, spice and leather - everything you could want from a top Chianti!

About the wine

"Brancaia produces modern classics” Stephen Spurrier, Decanter

This is an immensely stylish and slick Chianti Riserva loaded with perfumed black cherry and plum fruit and notes of spice, leather and dark chocolate. Rich, intense and powerfully concentrated, it soaks the palate in more of that gorgeous ripe black fruit and there's a delicious vibrant crunch to the wine. Finishing extremely long with earthy, spicy and leathery undertones, this is Chianti as it should be - a delicious drink and a perfect match for food!

For this wine the sangiovese and merlot grapes are vinified and aged separately for 16 months; the sangiovese in larger tonneaux and the merlot in barriques. For both varieties, half of the maturation is in new oak, the other in used.

It’s a technique that brings richness and tasty oak qualities to the wine, whilst allowing the fruit to sing loud and clear in its own right.

Winemaker: Barbara Widmer
Appellation: Chianti, Italy

- Tre Bicchieri, Gambero Rosso
- 93pts, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 
- 92pts, Decanter

- 92pts, James Suckling
- 92pts, Wine Spectator
- 3.9/5 Stars, Vivino rating

Grapes: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot
Vineyard: Brancaia vineyards
Cooperage: 16 months in oak
ABV: 13.5%
Drink: 2018-2027

About the winery

In 1981, Swiss couple Brigitte and Bruno Widmer fell in love with the, at the time abandoned, Brancaia estate in Chianti and purchased it. Only two years later, Brancaia won first place in an important Chianti Classico tasting and since then they have never looked back, quickly gaining international fame for the quality of their wines. 
This naturally led to an expansion of the business and in 1989 the Poppi estate (located at Radda in Chianti) was purchased, followed in 1998 by the founding of another Brancaia estate, this time in Maremma, only 10km from the Mediterranean coastline.

Since 1998 Barbara Widmer, oenologist and daughter of the founders, has been responsible for the winemaking as well as for the vineyards on all three estates - she is helped out by the consultancy of the famous oenologist Carlo Ferrini.

About the vineyard

The Brancaia vineyards cover three separate sites: two in Chianti, Brancaia and Poppi and one in Maremma, totalling an impressive 80 hectares.

In the simplest terms Brancaia has limestone clay soils and the wines from here are typically powerful and structured. Meanwhile, in Poppi the soils are lighter with good drainage and the fruit is generally more aromatic. Maremma wines have more sun-ripened fruit, benefiting from the Mediterranean climate and sandy, loam soils.

Attention to detail is everything and the vineyard team strive to deliver the best possible quality of fruit from every vineyard, year on year. It’s an impressive statistic that the workers spend over 450 hours per hectares in the vineyard until the grapes reach the cellar! 


93 points - Monica Larner
The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva hits all the high notes expected of this historic denomination. The wine is brimming with cherry fruit and luscious darkness with spice, leather and unsweetened chocolate. The blend is 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, and the wine is aged in medium toast barrique (both new and neutral) for 16 months. Like the other successful interpretations from this classic vintage, this expression reveals an impressive sense of balance. If I had to make a 2013 Chianti Classico short list, this wine would be on it."


92 points
"Fresh, exciting scents with sweet, spicy, warm notes. Some forest and wild mushroom tones under the violets and blueberries. Ripe acidity and soft tannins, driven forward by stylish fruits"



92 points - Wine Spectator
"Rich, boasting black cherry, plum and iron flavors matched to dense tannins. Shows intensity and power, with lively acidity driving the long finish."


92 points - James Suckling
"Bright and lightly austere with a dried mushroom and blackberry character throughout. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Silky texture."


"The really good stuff starts here, a Chianti with addition of Merlot which gives it a more of a purplish colour and concentrated yummyness. 4/5 Stars

"...exciting Chianti. Great example. Better than last time I tried it a year ago.4/5 Stars

"Dark plum color, blackberry nose, cherry, berries, soft tannins , juicy mouth watering finish"  4/5 Stars

"Meaty and juicy black fruit, black chocolate, caramel, high acidity, crunchy tannins, good amount of wood which is more pronounced in the nose. Went down nicely with my tomato and beef stew. Mighty Chianti"  4/5 Stars

Other Details

Classic Chianti Riserva from one of Tuscany's best estates
Superb Tuscan red! "Hits all the high notes.." robertparker.com
2018-09-26 23:59:59
#review=Robert Parker Wine Advocate:
#review=Wine Spectator:
#review=James Suckling:
#stars_review=Gambero Rosso (Tre Bicchieri - the highest award possible):
#stars_review=Vivino Rating:
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