Azienda Agricola Bruna
It has been over 6 years since the beautiful white wines of the Bruna family have been available in Chicago. We are immensely proud to have these wines as a part of the Kestral family.
Tucked up in Italy’s Northwest pocket, often referred to as the Italian Riviera, along with its neighbor Valle d'Aosta, Liguria is one of Italy’s least populated regions.
Finding wine from Liguria can be challenging. The terraced hillsides of Liguria can be steep and dangerous working environments. As a result, wineries must work by hand, with labor adding a high cost to the wine. There is no such thing as "cheap" Ligurian wine. With its minimal production, fervent local consumption, and lack of inclusion on "by the glass" lists in the US; the wines are typically only known by the most passionate fans of Italian wines.
Bruna used to be imported by the legendary importer Robert Chadderdon. As a small national importer, he championed top producers throughout Europe. His portfolio from Italy included some very famous names, such as Bartolo Mascarello and Giuseppe Quintarelli. Wine buyers clamored for these wines, including one tiny Ligurian estate - Azienda Agricola Bruna.
It has been over six years since the beautiful white wines of the Bruna family have been available in Chicago. We are immensely proud to have these wines as a part of the Kestral family. The three wines included in this newsletter are excellent examples of Pigato’s versatility- from young and fresh to complex and sophisticated, with the ability to age for decades.
Why we love it- Pigato is one of the most versatile grape varieties and Bruna is THE benchmark producer for Pigato. Add to that small production and organic farming and what’s not to love?
Bruna "Majé" Pigato
“Majè,” in the Ligurian dialect, refers to the stone terraces in the area. Here, the steep vineyards are almost 300 meters high, with vines planted south-facing in limestone-rich soils along with white and blue clay that are dense with fossils.
Majè captures the youthful Pigato vines- the wine ages about five months in the tank, on its lees. Pigato is a late-ripening varietal so by giving it southern exposure the fruit becomes harmoniously ripe and fresh while perfectly balanced by brilliant acidity. Majè is an authentic seaside wine, full of salinity with bright pops of citrus and fresh herbs.
Pigato is an excellent choice for any tricky vegetable pairings, as well as for fried foods, and fresh seafood. We love pairing Majè with sushi!
Bruna "Le Russeghine" Pigato
Le Russeghine is a vineyard site that is less than a single hectare of vines that are up to 50 years old. Grown on iron-rich, red, rocky clay soils, this vineyard has been in the family since the 18th century. Le Russeghine vineyard is roughly 230 meters above sea level, with southeastern exposure.
As much as 20% of the wine is aged on its lees in neutral, large French casks for eight months. The remaining 80% of the wine is kept fresh in stainless steel tanks. The wine features great depth and minerality coupled with all of the Mediterranean feels - ripe, fresh citrus and stone fruit, aromatic herbs, and a marked savoriness.
Bruna "U Baccan" Pigato
U Baccan means "the boss" in the local dialect, referring to Bruna’s founder, Ricardo Bruna. U Baccan is a very limited bottling of 50-70+ year-old Pigato vines. The wine is a blend of two vineyard sites, Garaxin and Le Russghine.
After maceration on its lees, the wine is then aged in Austrian acacia casks for at least ten months, and includes batonnage. This wine has incredible depth and purity. Aromatic herbs such as sage and thyme complement ripe, fleshy fruit, reminiscent of peach and mango, citrus peel, honey. On the palate, it is round with hints of salted almonds.
It is remarkable to open now but indeed can be drunk anytime between now and 2030.
This wine would thrive alongside a nice, hearty bowl of Genovese pesto, but needs nothing more than a side of olives or salted almonds to take you away to the Italian Riviera, even if just for a moment.