Gaja Rennina Brunello di Montalcino 2008
Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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 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.
The Wine Advocate - "In a vintage where so many wines already appear tired, Gaja’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina jumps from the glass with vibrant aromas and flavors. Violets, black cherries, tobacco, licorice and menthol all appear later, adding further shades of complexity. The tannins are firm yet beautifully integrated. Pieve Santa Restituta fans know than Rennina can be deceptively medium in body, yet it has a great track record for aging. Today, the wine is simply gorgeous. This is one of the few 2008s I would buy to cellar. There is little doubt the Rennina is one of the standouts in 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2026."
Wine Enthusiast - "This estate, owned by Angelo Gaja, makes two expressions of Brunello. The 2008 Sugarille shows sharp acidity, but this wine offers more balance and harmony overall. It opens with beautiful floral tones of pressed violets and wild berry fruit while unfolding oak-driven aromas of spice and chocolate in a more subdued manner."
Wine Spectator - "Floral, cherry and spice aromas and flavors mingle in this red, which is pure, if a bit oaky, lent structure by a combination of wood and grape tannins. Fine length. Best from 2017 through 2033."
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The story of the Gaja Winery can be traced to a singular, founding purpose: to produce original wines with a sense of place which reflect the tradition and culture of those who made it. This philosophy has inspired five generations of impeccable winemaking. It started over 150 years ago when Giovanni Gaja opened a small restaurant in Barbaresco, making wine to complement the food he served. In 1859, he founded the Gaja Winery, producing some of the first wine from Piedmont to be bottled and sold outside the region. Ever since, the winery has been shaped by each generation’s hand, notably that of Angelo Gaja. Under Angelo's direction, the the native Nebbiolo grape was elevated to world-class esteem.
Today, Angelo Gaja, alongside Guido Rivella, his winemaker since 1970, and his daughter, Gaia, advance their legacy. To fully realize their vision, all Gaja wines are produced exclusively from grapes grown in estate-owned vineyards, including 250 acres in Piedmont's Barbaresco and Barolo districts as well as estates in Pieve Santa Restituta (Montalcino) and Ca’Marcanda (Bolgheri). It is from these storied vineyards, and the earth, weather and vines upon them, that Gaja wines reveal their true heart. View all Gaja Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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