Gaja’s name is the apogee of Italian winemaking, a global icon known best for Barbarescos and Barolos, which created a new paradigm in Italian wine; yet it did not stop there. In 1994 Angelo Gaja acquired his first property in Tuscany, Pieve Santa Restituta, a glorious 16-hectare vineyard in Brunello di Montalcino, mastering Sangiovese and delivering a brilliant Gaja-esque motif, to another of Italy’s wine pillars. Gaja then turned his attention to Bolgheri, the heartland of Super-Tuscans. Bolgheri is a natural fit for a winemaker willing to push the limits of both classification and the rule-books, something that has made Gaja’s wines perpetually exciting and very collectable.
In 1996 Gaja completed the acquisition of a historic 250-acre Bolgheri Estate. It is a romantic notion that it took over 18 trips to negotiate the purchase, leading to the name Ca’Marcanda, which roughly translates from Piedmontese dialect to ‘the house of endless negotiations’. Needless to say, Angelo Gaja and the family got their prize and on this canvas, he could imprint his 40 years of winemaking experience, along with the family’s five generations. The winery at Ca’Marcanda was built from scratch, allowing Angelo’s vision to bear fruit. It is state of the art, built underground and Gaja want this to be ‘an “art object”, an art collection, and a study in ergonomics, where aesthetic ideal, humanist proportion, nature, and functionality come together to create an ideal working environment’. Quite simply, Ca’Marcanda is a synergy of great terroir and state of the art winemaking. It is set to continue the legacy of one of the finest winemaking families in the world.
The first vintage from Ca’Marcanda was in 2000 and the release of the 2016 vintage achieves a new peak in the nascent Tuscan powerhouse. Today we are delighted to offer their two leading wines for the first time. The first is the stunning Ca’Marcanda Camarcanda, the Estate’s flagship wine, which is only made in exceptional years. The grapes come from Castegneto Carducci in Bolgheri, grown exclusively on terre bianche, a white soil, famed for producing long-lived wines. It is a soil that is high in calcareous clay, with a composition ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged for 18 months in oak, the separate plots are then blended and further aged before release.
Ca’Marcanda Camarcanda has gained a reputation for structure, concentration, complexity with dark chocolate and tobacco on the finish. In 2016 it has been awarded 97 points from Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate, surpassing the 96 scoring 2010 and 2015, their previous best. The price today on release is £595 per case of six, a wine Larner calls ‘another beautiful creation from the Gaja family… infinitely smooth and finely textured down to the very last pixel in what is a high-resolution panoramic photograph’. A 97-point scoring Super Tuscan Gaja made wine from the 2016 vintage makes for an exceptional wine. Only 1,800 cases were made and collectors will benefit from securing this wine on release. This score makes it one of the wines of the stunning 2016 vintage, perhaps the greatest ever vintage for Tuscany.
The second wine is Ca’Marcanda Magari, which in 2016 has been awarded a magnificent 95 points from Monica Larner. Priced at £240 per case of six on release this offers incredible Price Over Points ratio (POP) of 32. Magari means ‘if only it were true’ a phrase in common Italian parlance which expresses, desire, hope and a vision of a bright future. The vineyard blocks which produce Margari are closer to the sea and the fertile hillside. The soil is loamy, rich in clay, with plenty of ‘terre brune’, the famed dark soil, which aids the cultivation of rich, deep mineral focused wine. The blend is 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. Magari combines several wonderful elements including an exciting blend reminiscent of St. Emilion. Magari is a bargain, it affords access to Gaja’s brilliant winemaking at £40 a bottle.
Gaja is synonymous with Piedmont, however the Super Tuscan Ca’Marcanda estate in Bolgheri has now become as Larner states, ‘the apple of Angelo Gaja’s eye’.
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