This morning we continue our campaign of the sensational 2016 vintage of Brunello di Montalcino with a trio of wines from one Italy’s most legendary names, Gaja’s Brunello di Montalcino estate Pieve Santa Restituta. Of the 2016 vintage, Eric Guido of Vinous has had no shortage of praise, “If I had to think of one way to universally describe the majority of wines from the 2016 vintage, I would offer that they are like a well-muscled black stallion in its prime. They are dark yet radiant, expressive, nearly explosive at times, yet pure, poised and structured. These are wines that capture your imagination; and no matter how youthfully tense they are today, you simply can’t help but revisit a glass over and over again.” When comparing the 16’s to the also excellent 2015 vintage, Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate made the claim that they, “they reveal an extra level of depth, tension and focused intensity that you don’t quite get with the 2015s” continuing to suggest that the 2016s have far more in common with Brunello’s previous zenith vintage, the 2010.

Today we are delighted to be able to release the 2016 vintage of the signature Brunello di Montalcino from Gaja’s Pieve Santa Restituta estate as well as a very small amount of their highly sought-after Crus, the Sugarille and the Rennina. Representing the entirety of their picturesque estate, the signature Brunello di Montalcino is a 100% Sangiovese blend from fruit grown from the single vineyard sites of Sugarille and Rennina, as well from a 10-hectare parcel located in the north-east of the appellation. It releases today at just £285 per case of 6 IB, as well as being available in half bottles or magnum, representing tremendous value considering the pedigree and immeasurable expertise that is responsible for this fantastically affordable entry point to the range. The Gaja family takes the decision not to submit this wine to critics as it is a reliable favourite of restaurants around the world, and this further emphasizes that this full bodied and expressive wine has been crafted with the ultimate aim of being opened and enjoyed at dinner amongst friends and family. Having had the pleasure of tasting the 2016 vintage earlier in the week, we can only attest to the bewitching ripe plum fruit and intoxicating sweet herbal notes, which only grow more complex and intense after a few hours in the glass.
We are also thrilled to also have available today an extremely limited amount of the single Crus Rennina and Sugarille, each which represents an incredibly distinctive terroir expression from within the Brunello di Montalcino region. The Rennina is best known for its masculine and structured profile while the single vineyard Sugarille revels in its delicate perfume notes and silky elegance. Unsurprisingly both were standout hits across the board with every major critic in 2016, with the Rennina receiving 95+ from Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate who admired its, “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” while Eric Guido of Vinous awarded the Sugarille 96 points for its, “Cool-toned, poised yet wonderfully elegant, it lifts from the glass with a gorgeous display of lavender and purple-tinged florals before giving way to crushed stone, blackberries and a hint of sour citrus. It’s silky and soft with a dense core of primary fruits, which creates a monolithic feel today yet tempts the imagination with what’s to come.” The Rennina releases today on strict allocation at £625 per case 6 IB while the Sugarille is available for £685 per case of 6 IB, also on allocation.
Gaja’s Brunello di Montalcino Pieve Santa Restituta is a dazzling combination of Gaja’s winemaking prowess and the magnificent quality of Tuscany’s historic Brunello di Montalcino region. While the Gaja name may be best known for their exquisite Barbarescos and Barolos, many decades ago Angelo became fascinated by Italy’s other most prestigious red wine region, Brunello di Montalcino. In 1994, he acquired the glorious 16-hectare Pieve Santa Restituta estate located just next door to the vineyards of Soldera. Gaja’s two decades of work in Brunello di Montalcino, synthesising his winemaking methods in Piedmont and applying them to Sangiovese, resulted in the release of his first vintage of Brunello in 2005.
The single Crus Rennina and Sugarille are produced from meticulously selected vineyards located to the South-West of Montalcino, surrounding the namesake church of Santa Restituta. To produce the signature Brunello di Montalcino, these same grapes are then combined with those hailing from the Torrenieri vineyard in the North-east of Montalcino, which boasts a northwest and southwest exposure, with a sandy, clay and tuff terroir. This vineyard also benefits from excellent diurnal changes, which explains its perennial structure and tension, expressing ripe tannin balanced with fresh acidity. In recent years, the winery has begun to introduce large, forty-hectolitre barrels throughout their range, in a continued effort to find precisely the right balance with their historic tonneaux. With the 2016 vintage, the Rennina was matured in a mix of 70% two-year-old large casks and 30% within tonneaux, while the Sugarille was aged 60% in cask and 40% in tonneaux.