Jul 11, 2012

2008 Brutocao Quadriga Hopland Ranches

My birthday is coming up this week and I've been looking for something new. I'm partial to some of the Italian varietals and found a new Chairman's Selection that featured a blend of four of them: the 2008 Brutocao Quadriga. What really caught my attention, though, was that this wine hails from Mendocino County, CA.

This interesting red blend is available at your local Fine Wine & Good Spirits store for $12.99.


There is no doubt that we have entered the “dog days of summer” but what, exactly, does that mean? The term actually dates back to Ancient Rome and refers not to your lazy canine panting in the shade, but to the rise of Sirius, the “Dog Star”, so called because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time when "the sea boiled, the wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid,” which is a pretty accurate description of what has transpired over the last few weeks!

It seems fitting then, to sample a wine with some Italian heritage (via California): the 2008 Brutocao Quadriga. Quadriga (from the Latin quadri meaning four) is a blend of Sangiovese, Primitivo, Barbera and Docetto. These are not grapes typically blended together and I found it to be a bit awkward at first. The Primitivo, the ancestor of Zinfandel, came on strong and it took some time, and a lot of air, to tone it down. There is cedar and spice on the nose, with plenty of aggressive stone fruit on the palate. It is certainly made in the New World style like some California Zinfandels and if you like that spicy, jammy experience, you’ll probably like this one too.

What Others Thought

Reviews were a bit mixed on this one. There were a lot of things that this wine "was not" but it was hard to pinpoint what it was. Some liked the "fruit forward" cherry flavor while others found it a bit "jammy" and a little too much "like a Zin". Some found it "bright" while others, too much so.

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