2015 Gaja Brunello di Montalcino Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina

  • 99 Point JS Brunello di Montalcino
  • Famed Piemontese Family in Tuscany
  • Very Limited Allocation
  • 97 Point Vintage Wine Advocate
  • Free Shipping on 6 or More Bottles

About the Wine

The Gaja family has become one of the biggest names in Piedmont, pushing the limits of quality in the region. Since their wild successes with Nebbiolo the estate has expanded to Tuscany including the small estate of Pieve Santa Restitua. Much like their wines that are produced in Piedmont, the Brunelli exceed all expectations. The 2015 vintage, being the showstopper it is, is a beautifully crafted wine experience.

In 1994, Gaja acquired its first property in Toscana, 40 acres from the Pieve Santa Restituta estate in Montalcino. A couple of years later, it 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 shows plum, blackberry, and well-integrated, tight-grained oak tannins. The wine is enticing, but it will clearly benefit from decanting and will certainly age well over the next 10-20 years.

The designation Rennina first appears in the High Middle Ages and is derived from the late-Roman name of the estate, Fundus Rescianum, denoting a state-owned farm. Since the Gaja family’s acquisition of the historic estate in 1994, three growing sites have been devoted to the cultivation of Sangiovese Grosso grapes for the production of Brunello di Montalcino: Santo Pietro, Castagno (Chestnut Tree), and Pian dei Cerri (Turkish Oak Flats).

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 aging, 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. Since the early 1990s, Gaja has expanded his empire into Tuscany with significant vineyards in Montalcino and Bolgheri. Today, his two daughters Gaia and Rossana manage the extensive land holdings and global distribution of this important brand.

Aging: 12 months in barrique followed by 12 months in Botti (large casks)

Tasting notes: 100% Sangiovese Grosso. The nose showcases aromatic herbs of rosemary and licorice root. Some fruit aromas of pomegranate, blueberry, and orange zest play a secondary role. On the palate this is full, yet light on its feet with fine-grained tannin. 


Extremely perfumed and pretty with dried berry, orange peel, and fruit tea on the nose. Full-bodied, extremely tight, and refined with superb tannin quality that shows polish, finesse, and beauty. It goes on for minutes on the palate. One for the cellar. Best wine ever from here. Needs three or four years to come together. ~99 James Suckling

The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is beautifully balanced and elegant. The wine is successfully streamlined and focused on the nuanced characteristics of the otherwise warm and sunny 2015 vintage. Rennina is often considered to be the more lithe and graceful of Gaja's two Brunellos (the other being Sugarille that is also reviewed here). The bouquet opens to pretty berry nuances, blue flower, lavender, grilled herb, and powdery licorice. Despite the more delicate approach, Rennina delivers ample power in the mouth with fresh acidity and tight tannins. I'd suggest opening this bottle at the 10-year mark. Production is 11,000 bottles. ~96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is dark and powerful in the glass, slowly opening with a display of crushed stone, cedar, mint, and a dusting of cumin, as its dark red fruits begin to unfurl in a captivating display. On the palate, silky textures offset tart cherry and blackberry fruits, balanced by a core of rounded tannins and lifting acidity, as hints of licorice and sweet herbal tones develop. The finish is medium in length and poised, showing fine-grain tannins beneath a sheen of polished red and black fruits, with hints of lavender lingering on. The 2015 Rennina is a classy wine that’s just begging for a few years in the cellar to fully blossom. ~95 Vinous

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