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Gaja Darmagi 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Piedmont, Italy
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Learn about Italian Cabernet Sauvignon wine, common tasting notes, defining characteristics and more ...
While certainly not one of the hundreds of indigenous Italian varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon has been present in the country since the 1820’s and now encompasses approximately 35,000 acres. Only a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in northern Italy, but notable examples include Angelo Gaja’s Darmagi from Piedmont and San Leonardo (typically a Cabernet blend) from Trentino-Alto Adige. Southern Italy sees more plantings, especially in Sicily, Puglia and Campania; most of these versions are made for everyday consumption and rarely garner widespread attention.
Then there is Tuscany, where Italian Cabernet Sauvignon can rise to impressive levels of quality. It is required in Carmignano, and since 1996 has been permitted in Chianti and Chianti Classico. The grape first shook up the Italian wine world in the early 1970’s, with the release of the so-called “Super Tuscans.” These were wines from the coastal region of Maremma that broke the rules of almost every Tuscan appellation and therefore had to be labeled as “table wine.” The first, Sassicaia, is a blend of Cab with Cabernet Franc. Other notable Italian wines that include Cabernet Sauvignon are Tignanello, Ornellaia and Solaia. These and others bear Cabernet’s signature notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, tobacco, graphite and oak, all supported by impressive structure.