Red Blend •Estate Grown
California: Mendocino County
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
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Mission Codename: Amore e Bocce!
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red on vacation in Mendocino, knowing full well that he’ll stumble on to a great wine find for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Brutocao Cellars
Wine Subject: 2005 Quadriga
Winemaker: Fred Nickel
Backgrounder: The Wine Spies have waited a long time to finally bring you today’s wine. Why? That’s Top Secret, but what we can tell you is this: Today’s wine is an incredible wine whose many awards are instantly justified the moment you take a sip! Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet to burgundy in color with a heart of perfect garnet, great clarity (take the wine outside an look at it in the sunlight… brilliant!), color concentration with to the edges of the glass. When swirled, the wine exhibits a fast-moving surface and a great springy quality, with chubby legs that streak down the inside of the glass
Smell – Perfumy natural aromas with deeply exquisite layers of sweet cherry, smoky mixed berry jam, dark stonefruit, cedar, tobacco, leather and mild exotic spices
Feel – Very plush and velvety, very round at first, then the wine coats the entire mouth as velvet tannins grip the tongue and cheeks
Taste – Layers of earthy and smoky black cherry, mixed dark stonefruit, soft balck and white pepper, with a tail of tart cherry and mildest leather and oak
Finish – Huge, bright and delicious with warm, velvety tannins and flavors that linger a long time
Conclusion – This is a FANTASTIC wine that reminds us of authentic old-world Italian field blends, but with richer, brighter and more fruit-forward flavors. This velevety smooth wine should be an instant ‘budget’ favorite for our Operatives. A multiple award-winner that deserves all of the accolades that it has received, you’ll find this wine to be a great companion for your casual dining or fanciest meals. Unlike some of the gigantic California wines you may be used to, this wine will not challenge your food-matching ability as it works with almost anything – without overpowering your food choices. If you have been looking for a beautifully delicious red blend, we’re confident that this one will surely please.
“No, Man, it’s Brut-o-co!”
The other man insisted, “Dude, I’m telling you, it’s Brut-o-cow!”
And so the argument went on for several long minutes. I was Mendocino, taking some much needed R&R and practicing my Bocce. Trying to, at least, but these guys on the neighboring court were driving me crazy.
I could take it no longer and, since I knew all about the winery they were arguing about, Brotocao Cellars, I finally interrupted. “Fells,” I said as calmly as I could. “Let me settle this for you. Both us you have it almost right. It’s Brut-a-co, trust me, I know.”
They both smiled at me widely. This was not the reaction I had anticipated. Given the testy tone of my voice, I anticipated some sort of push-back. Instead, these guys seemed happy at my inturruption.
“Reeeealy,” said one of the men. “Is that so?”
“Indeed,” I replied.
The larger of the two men walked over to me, his former grin now a look of – was it disdain? I flashed on my martial arts training… and my heart sank. I may be a decent foil fencer, but suddenly I felt like I could use a little Kung Fu.
The big man shot his hand out toward me. I braced myself and shut my eyes tight. Nothing happened. After a few moments, I peeked out of one eye – and saw the man now grinning even more broadly than before.
He said, “I’m Steve Brutocao! Nice to meet you.”
I relaxed and placed my hand in his. The image of a baby shaking hands with a catchers mitt flashed in my mind. I’m not the biggest guy, but Steve Brutocao was a strapping bear of a man.
Steve introduced me to his Bocce partner and then explained that they were joking about how his family name is so badly butchered. It seems that few people get the name right and Steve was pleased to hear my perfect pronunciation.
I explained that I was planning to visit the winery during my trip, and he invited me up for a private tasting. His 2005 Quadriga was the highlight of the night and before the night was over, Steve had agreed to allocate a small quantity for our Operatives.
Thanks, Steve, your Quadriga is an incredible treat. I’ll be picking up a case for my own cellar today!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Brutocao tasting room in Hopland can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
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Awards & Accolates:
91 Points Voted Editor’s Choice by Wine Enthusiast
Double Gold Medal Tasters Guild International Wine Competition
Gold Medal San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Silver Medal Florida State Fair
Silver Medal National Women’s Wine Competition
Silver Medal West Coast Wine Competition
Silver Medal Pacific Rim International Wine Competition
Silver Medal San Diego National Wine Competition
About This Wine:
The triumph of Italian wine varietals championed in this Estate blend of 35% Sangiovese, 31% Primitivo, 18% Barbera and 16% Dolcetto offers a portrait of aromas and flavors that have resonated throughout the Mediterranean for centuries.
About The Winery:
Winemaking traditions often begin around the table. Brutocao Cellars’ roots go back three generations to a Venice, Italy dinner table.
When the Brutocao family came to the New World and married into the Bliss family of farmers, it was only natural that they would combine their passions and become grape growers and winemakers.
Today, the family still blends their Italian heritage with their rural agricultural lifestyle to make some of California’s finest wines.
Grandfather Irv Bliss purchased our Mendocino County property in 1943. The Brutocao family released their first wine with the 1980 vintage. Shortly thereafter, they chose the Lion of St. Mark, modeled after the lion on top of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice, Italy, as their symbol of family tradition and quality. That quality comes from the location of their 400 acres of vineyards in southern Mendocino County.
The Brutocao family tradition of serving wine at the table means wines are produced with good food and good friends in mind.