~ Sea of Vines on Angelo Gaja’s Marmemma Estate ~

When you hear the name Angelo Gaja, you immediately think Piedmont – of unctuous, mouthwatering, flashy Barolo and Barbaresco that have set standards for quality and their maverick dismissal of DOCG guidelines.  

However, Gaja has now been a Tuscan wine producer for over 20 years; first with his purchase of acreage in Montalcino in 1994 and then with his acquisition of Ca’ Marcanda in Maremma in 1996.   Like many of Gaja’s other ventures,  the new winery, located in Castagneto Carducci,  is modern, sleek and meant to blend in with the surrounding landscape of flat plains, olive groves and vast seas of vineyards. 

Here Gaja farms over 250 acres that are planted to Cabernet, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, and many others.  Quality is never compromised by Gaja,  and although the aim his high in Tuscany,  I have never been “wowed” by one of his coastal Tuscan reds.  They never seem to attain the richness of his Brunello or the complexity of his vanguard wines from Piemonte.  Today’s example did little to change my opinion. 

~ The Gaja Winery in Maremma, Tuscany ~

The 2011 Ca’ Marcanda Promis, is a sophisticated blend of   55% Merlot,  35% Syrah,  and 10% Sangiovese and exhibits a deep, inky purple color.   Decanted for 30 minutes before dinner,  the wine’s aroma is somewhat reticent with soft black plum fruit notes,  green herbs and a red clay note.  

Aged for 12 months in used barrique and an additional year in bottle prior to release, the wine displays no overt aromas or flavors of oak.  On the palate, oddly the Syrah seems to be dominating this blend at the moment with smokey, meaty plum notes that are medium to full bodied.  The hard edges here need to soften somewhat and the Sangiovese is lost in the blend – unless it’s contributing the only acidity that’s present in the wine?  Needs time to integrate tannins and develop more textural appeal.  Despite the high quality of the vintage overall,  I don’t see this wine approaching that level of quality and I’m not willing to gamble at the price point.    88 points.  About $40 retail. 

~  Angelo Gaja’s Promis ~

  E vero!

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