This week we tasted the latest release from Gaja's estate in Brunello di Montalcino, Pieve Santa Restituta, named after the 4th Century church located on the property. Young Brunello can be intimidating, but the estate wine was so open, concentrated and elegant that we think it will thrill fans of Tuscan reds and, for the uninitiated, it is a perfect introduction to the region.
Since taking over the property Gaja have redeveloped the vineyards to be as natural as possible, with no chemicals and pesticides and promoting soil health through composting. The winery itself is state of the art and largely underground, to make as little impact on the environment as possible. The same intense focus on quality that made Gaja a celebrated name in Piemonte is being applied here. The growing season in 2016 had plenty of rain in the winter to build water reserves for the summer months. The summer was warm but not too hot, moderated by cool nights, and a long ripening season. 2016 is becoming the best vintage since 2010. Vinous' Italian expert Eric Guido writes: “I frankly cannot remember the last time I tasted young wines from Montalcino that possessed such symmetry from start to finish.”
We found a plethora of aromas in the 2016 estate Brunello, with dark cherry fruit, licorice, black tea, violets and mint. The trademark powerful, sometimes rustic tannins of Brunello were present, but tamed and polished. As serious as this is, we can imagine enjoying it with just a couple of years more bottle age.
Alongside the estate Brunello, we offer a small quantity of the single vineyard 'Rennina', highly-rated by Eric Guido, Monica Larner and James Suckling (97 points).
Arriving May 2021.