In a nutshell: A full, smooth and juicy Piedmontese red blend from the famous Gaja estate.
The lowdown: This maybe one of the famous Gaja estate's more entry level wines it's, nevertheless, immensely satisfying and everything you'd expect from one of Italy's iconic producers. It blends Nebbiolo from the Barbaresco region with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot which is quite an interesting mix. There are attractive redcurrant and cassis hints on the nose with some complex spicy and herbal notes also coming through. The palate is full, smooth and juicy with ripe fruits supported by complex spice, smoke and cedar. And, overall it's fresh with a vibrant acidity and smooth, silky tannins.
When to drink: Being both juicy and savoury this is a perfect complement to rich red meat dishes.
Possibly Italy's most renowned wine personality with an impact on that country's wine industry that can hardly be overestimated Angelo Gaja took the reins of his family's estate, north east of the Piedmontese town of Alba back in 1970.
On taking control he replanted many of the vineyards and controversially introduced varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay on to land previously the domain of Nebbiolo and other indigenous varieties. His heresy, however, has paid off handsomely over the years to the point where he's now considered virtual royalty of the Italian wine industry.
In the 1990s they expanded out of their Piedmontese base with the purchase of the Pieve di Santa Restitua estate in Montalcino where their first Brunello di Montalcino was made in 1993. And more recently, in 1996, the Ca' Marcanda estate also in Tuscany has been added to the fold. Here the priority is on 'Super Tuscans' based on international grape varieties.
As he 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.