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Brancaia Tuscany se Ilatraia Laia

Posted: Monday, 14 November 2011 14:21

Brancaia Tuscany se Ilatraia Laia

Nov 14: Although the Tuscan Estate of Brancaia has been in India for around five years, within that short span Martin Kronenberg who owns the estate with his wife Barbara Widmer bought by her Swiss parents in 1981, was in India for the fourth time and visited Delhi after spending a couple of days in Mumbai, writes Subhash Arora who had a private tasting with him at the Rick’s Bar at Hotel Taj Mansingh.

During my presentation on the Indian segment of the ‘Doing Business in Asia’ at the recently concluded Winefuture Hong Kong international wine conference, I had advised the producers wanting to business with India to follow my 6 Ps principle to improve their chance of success. One of them was ‘Presence’- simply put, it means that they must visit the country regularly and not only export at good prices, even with the inclusion of several freebies and A & M budgets. This gives them an opportunity to get the direct feedback from the market and the importer can take them close to the market by visiting hotels, retail outlets and special customers like the wine clubs and journalists.

Martin need not take that advice- he has been following the principle since 2008 when he visited  with a big bang- a vertical tasting of Il Blu, their top wine from the vintage 1994-2005 partly in order to show the changing style of their wine, especially Barbara who is a trained winemaker took winemaking under her wing in mid 90s despite the famous consulting winemaker Carlo Ferrini continuing to assist and advise, and partly to show that their wines are age-worthy.

After tastings and wine dinners in Mumbai, Martin had come to Delhi under a 5-day hectic programme for India. ‘I believe that Indians are learning fast and understand the concept of PQR (Price-Quality Ratio at all levels of quality). We offer good PQR, thanks to our importer Wine Park and we have made good progress’. Talking of the huge whisky drinking population in India he said he was not worried as ‘even in the US 1970s was an era of whisky drinkers; this will change soon, any investment we make here is for the future. We realize that at the end it is the brand only that counts.’

Martin confirms that the philosophy behind their wines is ‘no pretension, no show offs. ‘We are simply quality stuck and committed only to serve our clients well.’ Although they keep on winning the highest awards including three glasses from Gambero Rosso for their Il Blu, Martin is quick to add that their wines are meant to be drunk with food rather than to win medals.

The Il Tre 2008 IGT Toscana, as the name suggests is a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from their Tuscan Estates. Quite a fruity and balanced wine, it is an easy drinking wine which was drinking very well. Ilatraia 2007 IGT Maremma is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Sangiovese (30%) and Petit Verdot(10%) from their Maremma estate and the balance of fruit and acid and tannins with storage of 18 months in the oak casks shows rather well. The dark, full-on the palate with concentrated ripe fruits makes it an interesting and delicious wine. It was interesting to know that both these wines are available as wine-by-the-glass in good restaurants in Mumbai and Delhi.

Il Blu 2002 is heavier on Merlot with the blend of Sangiovese (50%), Merlot (45%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%). It felt slightly light on the palate with animal flavours in the back layer that were not exciting to me. Frankly, I was disappointed with the wine and felt it had gone past the prime. Martin explained that it was perhaps due to the poor vintage and it might not be as age-worthy as the other vintages. Later on, when I checked my earlier notes when I tasted this wine in July 2008, I was not surprised that I had given a high rating of 4.5/5 to this wine and had observed that this would not age.

Il blue 2002
This was a universally poor vintage for Tuscany with rains in August and September. Many producers could not make good quality. But apparently Brancaia was not hit too badly and they were able to produce a full-bodied wine with smoky aromas of black fruit with a spicy layer. It had slightly chocolaty flavour with integrated tannins. Very long and complex smoky and spicy finish. This is the kind of wine which shows what a good producer can do even in a bad vintage. This wine is easy drinking, not to age.

As I had predicted after that tasting in May-end, 2009, the wine is on its downward path and needs to be drunk right away.

Click For Large ViewAlthough he had not brought the white wine sample he informed me that since 2009 they were making white wine too. ‘We plan to take the existing number of 1000 cases to much higher levels. It is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and a bit of Gewurztraminer and Semillon priced quite reasonably,’ he said.

Martin has decided to come back every year in end October-beginning November. This will be a smart move that will be good for Vishal Kadakia and will afford the wine lovers to taste and see how their wines are evolving.

For one of our earlier article, you may visit
Subhash Arora

<With inputs from Sidd Banerji in Mumbai>
The Heading when transated into English means- 'Brancaia from Tuscany brough Ilatraia'



Sidd Banerji Says:

Illustrious example of a brilliant reporting.Platform to learn and amass huge,huge rare elements of the field.Gratefully proud to be part of the creation.Regards.

Posted @ November 16, 2011 11:37


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