In a nutshell: A bold, aromatic and earthy 'Super Tuscan' from an iconic Italian estate
The lowdown: Merlot forms the backbone of this blend with the balance comprising Syrah and Sangiovese. It's aged for 12 months in barriques before further maturation in bottle. Quite aromatic with floral wild rose and violet characteristics showing first followed by more earthy hints of eucalytpus and pine. On the palate the red and black fruit flavours are nicely fresh and juicy and complemented by creamy smooth tannins. Signing off with appealing spicy and slightly smoky hints.
When to drink: It's a wine that is already drinking really well despite its youth.
This fine property, purchased by Angelo Gaja in 1996 and now part of the wider Gaja group has 120 hectares of vineyard and a superb winery that combines simplicity, efficiency and architectural brilliance.
While Gaja showed with their 'Darmagi' that they can make great Cabernet Sauvignon in Piedmont they were compelled to try to compete with some of the great names of Italian wine when he arrived in Bolgheri just over 20 years ago. The winery and its vineyards are situated just south of Poggio al Tesoro and Ornellaia.
Their signature wine is Magari, a blend of 50% Merlot and equal parts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon while the prestige wine is Camarcanda. While early vintages had as much as 50% Merlot in the blend, more recent vintages are made from up to 80% of Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot relegated to other blends.
As founder Angelo Gaja approaches retirement and while still remaining fully involved in operations his daughters, Gaia and Rossana and son Giovanni are slowly taking on the mantle of responsibility and are successfully keeping the estate at the forefront of Tuscan winemaking.