Brutocao Cellars

Owner(s) Bliss Family, Brutocao Family
Web site
Link to this site

The Brutocao family was originally from Italy, and after immigrating to California, married into the Bliss family of farmers. Irv Bliss bought his Anderson Valley property in the mid- 1940s, and the family began making wine in 1991. The label features the Italian Lion of St. Mark, a symbol of family tradition and quality. Brutocao Cellars produces over twenty estate wines with an emphasis on Zinfandel and Italian blends from its 450 acres of vineyards in the southern areas of Mendocino County.

The Brutocao “Wine Center” in Hopland is a 7.5-acre wine and food complex at the site of an original school building dating to the 1920s. The Brutocao Schoolhouse Plaza includes a restaurant, tasting room, wedding pavilion, lawn concert area, banquet facilities and gift shop. A second tasting room on Highway 128 in Philo is inside a charming wood barn venue with a covered outdoor patio. The Pinot Noirs are crafted from Brutocao vineyards in Anderson Valley by winemaker Fred Nickel. The wines are available in the winery’s two tasting rooms and online.

Reviewed Wines

2013 Brutocao Cellars Slow Lope’n Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.,1,875 cases, $24. Family owners have been farming in southern Mendocino County since 1943. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose offers a pleasing blend of fruit black cherry and savory earthy flora and herb aromas. Beautifully composed with vivid flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and spice framed by chalky, fine grain tannins, and finishing with modest length. An engaging wine that also represents enviable value. Score: 91. Reviewed July 24, 2016 ARTICLE »

2012 Brutocao Cellars Reservad’ Argento Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 350 cases, $N/A. A barrel selection offered in a reserve style. · Shy, brooding aromas of black fruits and dark chocolate. A bolder styled wine with plenty of black raspberry, blackberry and Hoison sauce flavors backed by wood spice and a tinge of blood orange. Nicely balanced, with fine grain tannins and impressive staying power on the sweet fruited finish. Score: 92. Reviewed July 24, 2016 ARTICLE »

2011 Brutocao Slow Lope’n Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 1,100 cases, $24. Pommard, Swan, 113, 115, 667 and 777. Harvest Brix 23.6º. Aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas and flavors of strawberry and cherry with hints of spice, herbs and oak. The tannins are tight and the wine could use some time in the glass. Score: 88. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2006 Brutocao Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

1,1770 cases, $26. · The nose is enticing with black cherry, smoky oak and forest floor scents. A decent and easily approachable Pinot Noir that is sensibly priced and a welcome companion at any table. Reviewed June 9, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Brutocao Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,770 cases, $26. Sourced from Slo Lopin‘ Vineyard in Philo. Clones are Pommard 4, 115 and 777. De-stemmed, 50% whole berries, 10% whole clusters, 2-day cold soak, inoculation with Assmanshausen yeasts, co-fermentation of clones, 12 days on skins, double racked to barrel, aged 6 months in 15% new French oak, egg white fined and filtered. · Moderately deep garnet color. The nose is more barnyard, vegetable patch and nutty than fruity but is still attractive. A lean style with very light red fruit flavors including cranberries and cherries, that lead to a finish offering soft dry tannins. Reviewed May 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Brutocao Cellars Estate Bottled Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

1,770 cases, $26. · Medium garnet color. Very attractive fruity nose alive with fresh cherries and wild berries. Lightly weighted red fruits on the palate framed by stem notes and moderate tannins. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2005 Brutocao Riserva d’Argento Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

450 cases, $38. · Black cherry is front and center in this wine. Plum, wild berry, and oak flavors add complexity. Well-concealed tannins, silky in the mouth, and nice lift on the finish. Reviewed June 9, 2008 ARTICLE »

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