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La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino 2005

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP92
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

Color: Intense ruby verging on garnet
Taste: Dry, warm, harmonious, velvety, steady in body and heart
Bouquet: Ethereal, melting into scents of sweet violet and iris, recalling the berries growing in the woods

Critical Acclaim

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino is impressive for its open-knit, expressive bouquet of violets, dark cherries, minerals, menthol and grilled herbs. Medium in body, the wine delivers gorgeous length and a polished, refined finish. It is a strong effort in this vintage. The estate's Brunello is made from vineyards in Castelnuovo dell'Abate (70%) and Canalicchio (30%). In 2005 La Gerla did not produce their Vigna gli Angeli bottling and opted instead to add that fruit to the regular bottling. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

WE 90
Wine Enthusiast

An extensive aging program has beautifully shaped this Brunello. The wine shows balanced notes of fruit and spice with a smooth, silky texture. The density is not too thick or overdone and the wine would pair with pasta or risotto.

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La Gerla

La Gerla

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La Gerla, , Italy
La Gerla
The La Gerla property is situated at 320 metres above sea level, on the gentle slopes below Montalcino. This small wine estate has established itself as one of the great crùs in this territory in the heart of Tuscany, delineated by the Orcia and Ombrone valleys. The owner, Sergio Rossi, was formerly involved in advertising. He was the director of three European offices of a famous agency and was used to travelling for work and to losing sleep over lay-outs and jingles. These days he is almost an "ilcinese," and he loves his vineyards as if they were children.

This gentleman, with his vivacious character, has succeeded in his goal of creating a small cru in Montalcino where the most modern technology is combined with the know-how of local men and one winemaker. At La Gerla, human intervention plays an important role is extracting excellent Tuscan products from the land.

The farmhouse, with the characteristic name "Colombaia" was once the property of the Biondi Santi family. They used it to make one of the best Brunellos in the area. Sergio Rossi purchased the property in 1976 and restructured it with care and attention to detail. Not long afterwards, in 1978, he created the trademark La Gerla.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

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.

WWH121654_2005 Item# 108687

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