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 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 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.
Deep red-ruby. Delicate aromas of flinty red cherry and herbs complicated by hints of mocha and lifted by a bright violet topnote. Dense, rich, and concentrated but light on its feet, offering a very polished mouthfeel thanks to serious but noble tannins that nicely frame the refined, steely red fruit flavors. Finishes long and very elegant. Just like the 2013 Brunello Rennina, this also has 15% alcohol but is so well balanced that you can hardly tell (unlike with the Rennina). Knockout young Brunello from Gaja, one of the very best in memory. ~95+ VM
The single-vineyard 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille has a tighter core and a blacker heart compared to the Rennina. This wine is momentarily more difficult to penetrate and comprehend. It makes a more abrupt first impression but then relaxes and reveals more of its character only after it has spent extra time in your company. Then, it becomes suddenly exuberant and loud. This is a dynamic expression of Sangiovese with bold ripe fruit, spice and balsam notes to carry it forward during cellar aging. This vintage offers firmness and strength. Some 20,000 bottles were produced (of both Sugarille and Rennina, respectively). ~ 94pts, WA
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