2010 Brown Brothers Cienna

The second wine in this celebration of Australia Day is Cienna, a variety also bred by the boffins at the CSIRO Division of Horticultural Research at Merbein. Cienna was initially pollinated back in the early 1970's before being officially launched in 2000. 
Its name comes from a derivation of the Sienna colour and is the product of a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and the rare red Spanish grape Sumoll. This is also a unique New World grape variety that has been pioneered by Brown Brothers with Australian climatic conditions in mind.

The Sumoll grape is native to the Catalonia region of Spain and is a rustic variety known for its resistance to drought. However, its popularity has waned there in recent times owing to poor quality, low yield crops and changing denomination regulations. 
Sumoll's ability to thrive in some of Australia's hot, dry growing conditions was a major contributing factor in the development of the Cienna variety. 
And it hasn't just been one of the parents of the Cienna grape variety but also the other unique Australian grapes, Rubienne and TyrianIt would appear that Spain's loss has become our gain !

Brown Brothers has championed Cienna for a decade and its position in their portfolio of chilled red wine styles is important in meeting consumer demand for these products.Indeed, in recent vintages it has been used as a blending partner in a Rose and in the Moscato.With its Rose wines, a Dolcetto & Syrah blend, a Moscato Rosa and the Tarrango, Cienna completes an impressive spectrum of light-bodied red wines from which to choose.

The 2010 vintage is stunning to the eye with its deep purple colour. Imagine cutting a beetroot in half after it has been cooked.

From the outset, Cienna needs to be slightly chilled to maximise enjoyment, particularly because of the frizzante component that offers a nice refreshing tingle to the palate. Delicious upfront flavours of sweet cherry, ripe blackberry and blueberry with that little hit of spice linger well after the bubbles disappear. 

A light bodied wine despite the fruit intensity with little if no tannin to speak of and an alcohol level not much more than a full strength beer. Nicely balanced, juicy, smooth and utterly refreshing, the Cienna can start a dinner, go the full distance with a wide array of cuisine types or even finish the evening as a palate cleanser. A hidden gem.   

Source: Retail Purchase. Alcohol: 6.5%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 90 Points.

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