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In 1994, Gaja acquired its first property in Toscana, 40 acres from the Pieve Santa Restituta estate in Montalcino. A couple years later, he acquired 250 acres in Bolgheri. Three Brunelli are made in Montalcino and this wine is a blend selected from several of the estate vineyards. The Sangiovese Grosso is bright ruby red in color with subtle aromas of red cherry, dried flowers, tarragon and fresh fennel. Bright and juicy on the palate, with expressive dark cherry, licorice and spicy herbs, the wine is a perfect foil for the traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
The Gaja family landed in Piemonte from Spain in the 17th century. Following WWII, Giovanni Gaja acquired large vineyard holdings in the area. His son, Angelo, is considered one of the pioneers of modern winemaking in Italy. After studying wine in Montpellier, he was one of the first to bring French techniques such as barrique barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and modern technical innovations. Yet, he continued to implement extended macerations following fermentation. By raising the level and recognition of Nebbiolo, Angelo Gaja has been commended by every major wine publication in the world and acknowledged as an innovator. Today, his two daughters Gaia and Rossana manage the extensive land holdings and global distribution of this important brand.
Full ruby-red. Aromas of red cherry, blackberry, licorice and minerals. Juicy and tightly wound but pliant, offering smooth black and red fruit flavors complicated by licorice and fresh herbs. Classically dry and long, finishing with supple but firm tannins and a bright floral element. It’s hard to argue with this entry-level Brunello’s quality. I find it to be slightly underrated in many vintages, as all the attention is focused on Gaja’s two top Brunellos, the Rennina and the Sugarille. But this non-cru Brunello offers lots of high-quality wine for the price. ~ 92pts VM
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