In a nutshell: An understated yet rich and complex 'Super Tuscan' from a famous estate.
The lowdown: The blend of grapes used here in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot making this something of a Bordeaux Blend, yet made in the heart of Tuscany. Each variety is vinified and aged in oak for 12 month separately before blending and bottling. The nose is quite concentrated and rich with balsamic and liquorice notes in tandem with some sweet dark fruit aromas. The palate has generous ripe blackcurrant flavours with a of coffee and mint while the fine, silky tannins give an excellent structure during the long, lingering, savoury finish.
When to drink: A lush, attractive and very appealing wine. Pair it with roast lamb, or at the end of a meal with ripe creamy cheeses.
This fine property, purchased by Angelo Gaja in 1996 and now part of the wider Gaja group has 120 hectares of vineyard and a superb winery that combines simplicity, efficiency and architectural brilliance.
While Gaja showed with their 'Darmagi' that they can make great Cabernet Sauvignon in Piedmont they were compelled to try to compete with some of the great names of Italian wine when he arrived in Bolgheri just over 20 years ago. The winery and its vineyards are situated just south of Poggio al Tesoro and Ornellaia.
Their signature wine is Magari, a blend of 50% Merlot and equal parts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon while the prestige wine is Camarcanda. While early vintages had as much as 50% Merlot in the blend, more recent vintages are made from up to 80% of Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot relegated to other blends.
As founder Angelo Gaja approaches retirement and while still remaining fully involved in operations his daughters, Gaia and Rossana and son Giovanni are slowly taking on the mantle of responsibility and are successfully keeping the estate at the forefront of Tuscan winemaking.