Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta 2015 Brunello di Montalcino 'Sugarille'

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Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta 2015 Brunello di Montalcino 'Sugarille' is available to buy in increments of 1

Gaja's top single vineyard Brunello Sugarille from the eagerly anticipated 2015 vintage. Having a world renowned reputation for their Barbaresco wines, Gaja originally purchased 16 hectares in Montalcino, in the hamlet of Santa Resituta in the 1990s, later adding a further 9 hectares in the north of the zone, near Torrenieri. This wine is made from one single parcel of vines planted on galestro soils, the most desirable rock formation in the zone, a kind of broken down shale. Galestro makes the most complex, fine, and ageworthy Brunellos.

"The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is a gorgeous, feminine Brunello. It offers up fresh red berries, woodland in nature, with dusty florals and white smoke, turning more savory in the glass, hinting at coffee grinds, yet understated and refined throughout. On the palate, velvety textures nearly envelope a solid core of structural heft, which are perceived yet hardly felt until the finale. The purest blackberry, licorice, sage and savory spices remain throughout its long and dramatic finish, as grippy tannins emerge beneath a cloak of dark florals and crushed wildberry fruit. The 2015 Sugarille is a little untamed in its early going, but I’m imagining that quite a wine will emerge over the next five to ten years." Eric Guido, Vinous, April 2020

Italy | Tuscany | Montalcino | Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta | 100% Sangiovese | Drink 2023 - 2035

The Wine 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 major black variety, Sangiovese, one of the most planted varieties in Italy, but here is its ancestral and spiritual home. Sangiovese makes up the majority of the blend of Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and various 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 are gradually moving away from the Super Tuscan movement of the 1980s & 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 because of it. Helped out by a good run of vintages, as well.

Elsewhere, there are still gems to be discovered. San Gimignano is home to the only major DOCG for white wines, yet its planting of its traditional variety, Vernaccia di San Gimignano are on the wane, but not at Castello di Montaùto who still champion this variety.

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

The Sub-Region 

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello di Montalcino vies with Barolo and Barbaresco as Italy’s greatest wine producing zone. Montalcino is a viticultural zone which surrounds the mediaeval hilltop town of Montalcino itself. There are a few styles of wine produced here, but it is for the Brunello that fine wine drinkers all over the world beat a path to. Rosso di Montalcino is its sibling which is also made from 100% Sangiovese (locally known as Brunello), but released a little earlier than the mandatory 5 years following harvest date for Brunello itself.

The Producer

Pieve Santa Restituta

Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta

Angelo Gaja, the revered Barbaresco producer, caused quite a stir when in the early nineties he purchased land in Montalcino creating the estate of Pieve Santa Restituta. It has taken a generation for Gaja to be no longer considered an interloper, now very much firmly part of the Brunello fraternity, and one of its most vocal and active ambassadors.

The original property was 16 hectares of already-established vineyards in Tavernelle next to Gianfranco Soldera, later in 2005 adding a further 10 hectares near Torrenieri, a site they call 'Deserti'. Even more recently there are more new vineyards in Bossignano which will come on stream with the 2019 vintage.

In the early days when Gaja was still finding his way, he experimented with French oak for the Cru wines of Rennina and Sugarille with great success, but with more recent vintages he has made the switch to larger barrels and tonneaux which have less oak influence and we think the wines are even better for it.

There are three expressions of Brunello - no Rosso - produced here. The estate wine, simply called Pieve Santa Restituta is made from the younger vineyards of Deserti, and is always the first of the three to reach its window of drinking, although in most years it has very good cellaring potential. Rennina and Sugarille are what we call the Cru wines, both grown at Tavernelle. Rennina is not technically speaking a single-vineyard wine, instead made from 3 small parcels together potentially making around 15,000 bottles. Sugarille is one parcel on Montalcino's finest galestro rock formations producing the longest lived and most powerful of the three, and potentially up to 10,000 bottles.

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