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.
|RED||2016||Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta - Brunello di Montalcino||75cl||£285 per case of 6||Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta
2016 / / 75cl
£285 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino normale is a fabulously plush, concentrated and intense expression of Brunello and represents probably the estate’s best vintage to date. The aromatics are perfumed and detailed showing cherry blossom, violets, vanilla oak spice and ripe dark layers of red and black berries, sweet cherry tobacco, cola and subtle red liquorice notes with just the faintest spearmint menthol top note. On the palate, the tannins are ripe but powerful with broad mouth-coating grip supported by pure cherry and cranberry fruit concentration, hints of balsamic, crystalline fresh acids and a wonderfully long harmonious finish. Distinguished and refined, but showing tremendous breadth, depth and structural power making this a perfect wine for medium to long-term cellaring. Drink from 2024 to 2036+. 96 points." Greg Sherwood MW
|RED||2016||Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta - Brunello di Montalcino Rennina||75cl||£625 per case of 6||Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta
2016 / / 75cl
£625 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"Healthy mid ruby. Perfumed, energetic nose of cherry and raspberry with minerally notes and hints of black pepper and perfectly aligned with oak. Transparent and perfumed palate, but not entirely open yet, with finely chiselled long tannins. Gorgeous balance and freshness. 17.5 points." Walter Speller, Jancisrobinson.com, Mar 2021------"The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is a dark and youthfully understated beauty. A gorgeous display of tobacco and savory herbs gives way to tart cherries, currants, brown spice and earth tones, gaining further richness the longer it spends in the glass. It’s seamless, elegant and silky in feel, with layers of ripe red fruit offset by dried citrus, as notes of black tea, licorice, hints of olive and saturating minerals settle in. There’s so much going on here; yet beneath its polished elegance, a layer of fine tannins penetrates deeply, making for a dry and structured finale. 94 points." Eric Guido, Vinous.com, Nov 2020------"The Pieve Santa Restituta 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina (with 15,000 bottles produced) offers intensity and beautifully concentrated fruit. The bouquet reveals layers of wild cherry, rose, blue flower and candied orange peel. However, if you are expecting a more subdued Rennina, that's not what you get in this classic 2016 vintage. The wine is buzzing with energy and vitality, with a lifted and an especially brilliant set of aromas. You might also detect a hint of fresh peppercorn or coriander seed that gives the wine a veil of the exotic. 95+points." Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, Nov 2020------"Some much shaved black truffles to the blackberry, walnut and chocolate undertones. It’s full-bodied and layered with chewy yet soft tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Smoke, mahogany and wet-earth undertones. Needs three or four years to soften and come together. Best after 2024. 97 points." James Suckling, Nov 2020