Gaja Ca Marcanda 2020 Promis

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Made from Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese this wine is made at Gaja's property in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast. Classically structured with robust tannins, but the fruit is silky and polished. A very stylish wine from one of Italy's greatest producers

This Month's Mixed Cases

The Region



Tuscany is the region of Italy that most fine wine drinkers gravitate towards. It occupies much of Central Italy with a Tyrrhenian coast to the west and the Apennines to the east; it has both Mediterranean and continental climates.

The story of Tuscany begins with its significant black variety, Sangiovese, one of the most planted varieties in Italy, but here is its ancestral and spiritual home. Sangiovese makes up most of the blend of Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, other DOC/Gs, and 100% of Brunello & Rosso di Montalcino.

Chianti Classico is the region between Florence and Siena and has been systematically polluted with foreign varieties such as Cabernet, Syrah and, God forbid, Merlot.

Now, we are seeing a return to more traditional blends as producers gradually move away from the Super Tuscan movement of the 1980s and 1990s.

In Montalcino, where only Sangiovese is permitted, producers have also shunned the illicit use of foreign varieties, and the wines have never been better. It was helped out by a good run of vintages, as well.

Elsewhere, there are still gems to discover. San Gimignano is home to the only major DOCG for white wines. Yet, the planting of its traditional variety, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, is on the wane, but not at the best producers who still champion this variety.

The Tuscan Coast is still the hotbed for innovation; unlike other bits of Tuscany, the international varieties thrive and make the best wines, with the occasional exception.

The Producer


Gaja was founded in Barbaresco in 1859 by Giovanni Gaja. It wasn't until the fourth generation of the dynasty, Angelo Gaja, who took charge in 1961 that the company modernised - first of all by working with only their vineyards, reducing yields etc., furthered by introducing practices Angelo had seen in his travels in Burgundy, such as ageing the wines in small French oak barrels. Angelo was, and still is to a certain extent, a maverick, although now he is seen much more as an establishment figure. Angelo remains the figurehead of the company. However, it is the fifth generation of Gaia (pictured), Rossj, and Giovanni, now leading the various aspects of the operation.

In the early nineties, the family branched out from their home of Piedmont, initially buying vineyards in Montalcino, what eventually became Pieve Santa Restituta, followed by acquisitions of vineyards in Bolgheri for their Cà Marcanda. Not satisfied with conquering Piedmont and Tuscany, Gaja has entered a joint venture in Sicily with a traditional Etna producer Alberto Graci, creating Idda. The latest news is a project underway in Alta Langa, taking them full circle back to their home of Piedmont.

The Sub-Region

Bolgheri & Tuscan Coast

Bolgheri and The Tuscan Coast

This part of Tuscany, also known as The Maremma, is renowned for its powerful reds from international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Although Sangiovese and other traditional Tuscan varieties are grown here, it is the Super Tuscans that grab the headlines.

The region was a backwater until Mario Incisa della Rocchetta of Tenuta San Guido planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the 1940s, originally intending to produce wines just for the family. With help from winemaker Giacomo Tachis, himself a protegee of Emile Peynaud, the renowned Bordeaux winemaker, he conceived the now world-famous wine, Sassicaia. Following its critical success the area has become a hotbed of internationally acclaimed reds: Ornellaia, Masseto, Gaja's Ca Marcanda, and Grattamacco are many of the prestigious wines now produced here.

The major criticism aimed at these wines is that to a certain degree, they have lost their 'Italian-ness'. I think that used to be the case. Now that the producers are learning their terroir, the wines have started to develop their own style. No longer just an extension of Napa Valley or Bordeaux, the wines have become Italian classics in their own right.

Elsewhere, this region has gained some success with Vermentino, a variety grown around the Mediterranean coast. There are many other DOCs dotted up and down the coastline, Morellino di Scansano perhaps the most widely known, but there are many others to discover.

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