Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2018


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“The Gaja family tends twenty-five hectares of vines between Tavernelle in the southwest of Montalcino and the Deserti area in the northeast. However, it’s only the vines in Tavernelle, a warm and dry part of Montalcino which is heavily influenced by the sea, that are used to create Rennina and the single-vineyard Brunello, Sugarille. All of the other fruit goes into making a Brunello which is not submitted for reviews and instead marketed to restaurants. While the family doesn’t have any intention of making any changes to this structure, Giovanni Gaja spoke excitedly about a recent acquisition of five hectares in Bolsignano, a valley in the southeast with a very unique microclimate from their current holdings. This parcel sits at elevations between 350-400 meters in galestro soils, with a large diurnal shift between day and nighttime temperatures. Starting with the 2019 vintage, this fruit will help fuel the estate’s Brunello; yet the area is undergoing a replanting project with another five hectares coming on board over the next few years. Ultimately, with global warming in mind, the Gaja family will now have the ability to blend fruit from both north to south and east to west, allowing them to find balance from vintage to vintage. What’s more, the winery has also begun to slowly introduce large, forty-hectoliter barrels throughout the range, with the goal of finding a balance between them and the tonneaux that they have used prior. In 2016 the Rennina was matured in a mix of 70% two-year-old large casks, with only 30% in tonneaux, while the Sugarille was matured in a mix of 60% two-year-old large casks, with only 40% in tonneaux. In the end, whether in Piedmont, Maremma, Montalcino or Mount Etna, the Gaja family always has a firm eye on the future.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (11/20)