Anavim is the recently reinstated importer of Brancaia in Israel. The following wines were highlighted in a tasting of Tuscan blends at the Anavim store in Tel Aviv this week.
Brancaia, Tre, 2004
A Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend that is the winery's entry-level Super-Tuscan. Red fruit, leather and cured meat on the nose. The smoke of the cured meats is echoed on the palate. A long espresso finish. Only moderate complexity for this charming, rustic, masculine wine. Amir Efrati of Anavim says this is his new house wine and I have to applaud his choice. It is an excellent value.
Brancaia, Ilatria, 2004
A Cabernet/Sangiovese, Petit Verdot blend this time and a more expensive wine. The nose exhibits riper fruit as well as chocolate and tobacco. It is a more modern wine than the Tre, softer, more feminine as well. A flirt perhaps but one that has undeniable potential.
Brancaia, Il Blu, 2004
Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon again, albeit in different proportions than the Tre. Despite a few hours in decanter, the Il Blu was very closed, revealing a clenched fist of ripe black fruit, with hints of sweet spices and leather. I had a moment of disagreement with Hagit Sasportas who hosted the tasting. I thought at first that the wine was too sweet-ish, too obvious, too much an immediate satisfaction kind of wine. But it showed much more complexity as it opened and it's got enough balance and fine tannins for the future. So I was wrong and Hagit and Wine Spectator and who knows who else were right.