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New Arrivals: GAJA and the Fairytale Vintage “Made By God." Plus Other Brunello Selections.
July 25, 2020



New Arrival: The Debut Release from GAJA’s Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino and the Fairytale Vintage “Made By God”

After the overwhelming response to GAJA’s new project in Sicily and the US debut of the 2017 IDDA Etna Rosso, we are excited to present Angelo’s equally compelling efforts from the vaunted 2015 vintage in Montalcino with his Pieve di Santa Restituta estate. Located in the southwest subzone of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation, the historic property is close to the prized estates of Case Base di Soldera and Caprili. Here on the rocky white soils, the maverick Barbaresco master works alongside his daughter Gaia to produce rich and powerful Brunello, but with awesome depth and approachability. We just uncorked the inspiring 2015 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino and it is perhaps his finest release from Tuscany in twenty years!

You have heard us say it several times,
delizioso is the best way to sum up many of the Brunello di Montalcino from the ripe 2015 vintage — and it begins with the straight Pieve di Santa Restituta Brunello. This vintage has been dubbed the “fairytale vintage” by the media, and it has entered the pantheon of legendary ripe years such as 1997, 2007 and even 2010. To IWM it is simple: there is an extraordinary quality of concentrated fruit in this vintage with precise varietal characteristics and a stunning level of balance across the region. As Andrea Mantengoli of La Serena exclaimed to Vinous a few months back, 2015 was a “vintage made by God,” meaning the sunny growing year provided by Mother Nature supplied everything that was needed in the vineyard to make great wine, as many did.

The inviting approachability of the 2015 vintage will be the perfect complement to the upcoming 2016 releases, where most of the wines will need more time. We are excited to be among the first in the US to release the Brunello of Angelo Gaja at his Pieve Santa Restituta estate. The wines have just arrived in New York, and we can begin shipping in late August. We are including the 2015 Santa Restituta with some additional highlights from the 2015 vintage in Montalcino, as well as a new allocation of the 2017 (GAJA & Graci) IDDA Etna Rosso that we just secured. Many of these wines are available at some of the best pricing in the country and should not be missed.

FEATURED WINES: (GAJA) PIEVE SANTA RESITUTA AND 2015 BRUNELLO (Click to Order)



*indicates pre-arrival

In his quest for wines that are the highest expression of the land on which they are grown, Angelo Gaja set his sights on Tuscany, and in 1994, Gaja acquired Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino, his first venture outside the borders of his native Piedmont. A "pieve" is a parish church, and the estate itself is named for the church that stands on the property. According to church records, wine has been produced here since the 12th century. Wanting to show respect for the estate's heritage and an awareness of its great potential, GAJA improved the vineyards and renovated the winery.
The property's entire 40 acres have been dedicated to Sangiovese, perhaps the most well-known of the indigenous Italian grape varieties. These vineyards produce three Brunello di Montalcino wines, including the prized single-vineyard Sugarille as well as Rennina, which derives from three vineyards on the estate.

Additional Notes and Reviews:



2015 (GAJA) Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino
With the 2005 vintage, for the first time in history, the GAJA family decided to produce a classic Brunello without single vineyard designation, blended from all 40 acres the family has planted throughout the entire region. Pieve Santa Restituta's Brunello di Montalcino is now produced from a selection of estate-grown grapes from throughout the winery’s four non-contiguous vineyards, as well as 25 acres of southwest facing vineyards in Torrenieri in northeastern Montalcino, acquired in 2006.

Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “There is a lot of Brunello packed into this bottle! The wine shows the ripeness of the vintage but with more depth than some of its neighbors. It is Sangiovese Grosso on steroids with a powerful nose that reaches out, grabs you, and takes you to the hills of Tuscany. On the palate, there are gobs of upfront fruit, concentration, and texture, yet at the same time, there is plenty of depth, structure, and persistence that reverberate through the palate. You can expect nuances of dark cherries, dried berries, plum, even a touch of licorice, citrus peel, leather, brown spice and baked earth. The GAJA touch is on full display as this is an explosive wine with well-integrated, almost silk-like tannins that makes it deceivingly inviting today. We do recommend some aeration or short decant if drinking in the short term. Certainly one of the finest Brunello Classicos that we have tasted from this old, but newly rising star estate."



2015 (GAJA) Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille
When the Gaja family purchased the historic Pieve Santa Restituta estate in 1994, they did so in the hopes of bringing their expertise and winemaking style to this appellation. Today, Sugarille (SOO-gah-REEL-leh) is considered one of the top expressions of Brunello di Montalcino. According to archives found at Pieve Santa Restituta, the Sugarille growing site was already devoted to the cultivation of grapes for wine by 1541. The name Sugarille is derived from the Latin suber, meaning cork oak, possibly because cork trees were found there.

Vinous Media: "The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is a gorgeous, feminine Brunello. It offers up fresh red berries, woodland in nature, with dusty florals and white smoke, turning more savory in the glass, hinting at coffee grinds, yet understated and refined throughout. On the palate, velvety textures nearly envelope a solid core of structural heft, which are perceived yet hardly felt until the finale. The purest blackberry, licorice, sage and savory spices remain throughout its long and dramatic finish, as grippy tannins emerge beneath a cloak of dark florals and crushed wildberry fruit. The 2015 Sugarille is a little untamed in its early going, but I’m imagining that quite a wine will emerge over the next five to ten years."



2015 (GAJA) Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
The designation Rennina (rehn-NEE-nah) first appears in the High Middle Ages and is derived from the late-Roman name of the estate, Fundus Rescianum, denoting a state-owned farm. Since the Gaja family's acquisition of the historic estate in 1994, three growing sites have been devoted to the cultivation of Sangiovese Grosso grapes for the production of Brunello di Montalcino: Santo Pietro (St. Peter), Castagno (Chestnut Tree), and Pian dei Cerri (Turkish Oak Flats). Here, lime-rich subsoils, southwest exposure, and ventilation arriving from the Tyrrhenian sea to the west deliver well-balanced Brunello di Montalcino, defined by its characteristic red fruit notes, minerality, and polished tannins

Vinous Media: "The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is dark and powerful in the glass, slowly opening with a display of crushed stone, cedar, mint, and a dusting of cumin, as its dark red fruits begin to unfurl in a captivating display. On the palate, silky textures offset tart cherry and blackberry fruits, balanced by a core of rounded tannins and lifting acidity, as hints of licorice and sweet herbal tones develop. The finish is medium in length and poised, showing fine-grain tannins beneath a sheen of polished red and black fruits, with hints of lavender lingering on. The 2015 Rennina is a classy wine that’s just begging for a few years in the cellar to fully blossom."

This is an email ONLY offer! If you would like to take advantage of this offer (that is only available until 11:59pm Monday, July 27th), we are asking that you email orders back to me at chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders subject to confirmation and IWM is not responsible for typographical errors on pricing.

All my best,
Chris