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Gaja Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino 2004

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP95
  • WS95
  • RP95
  • JS93
  • WE92
  • JS97
  • WS96
  • RP96
  • RP94
  • JS92
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

The parish church, or "Pieve", of Santa Restituta stands on the winery property and gives it its name; the Sugarille vineyard was first recorded in the Pieve's inventory in 1547. The unique position and soil structure of the Sugarille vineyard--calcareous clay with a gently sloping southern exposure--give this wine an expressive, powerful character. This is a very special terroir, producing outstanding, long-aging single-vineyard Brunello.

Rich, complex aromas of ripe fruit (plums and wild cherries), violets and hints of cloves and tobacco.

Elegant structure and ripe, well-integrated tannins. This wine is normally more austere in youth than Rennina due to the slightly firmer tannic structure; but after 5-7 years, its depth and concentration lead to a complex flavor profile of great balance.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
The Wine Advocate

The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is darker and richer than the Rennina. Black cherries, plums, tar, licorice, minerals and leather all come together in this brooding Brunello. The fruit remains intense and full-bodied all the way through to the powerful and deeply satisfying close. Despite the wine’s heft, all of the components are woven together with remarkable harmony. This is a wonderful effort from Angelo Gaja. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2026.

WS 95
Wine Spectator

Shows aromas of citrus fruit, with raspberry and blackberry. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit and silky tannins. Very well-structured, with a hint of new wood on the finish. Long and balanced. Still needs time. The best wine ever from this estate. Best after 2011.

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Gaja
Gaja, , Italy
Gaja
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.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

CGM10601_2004 Item# 107783

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