Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta 2016 Brunello di Montalcino 'Rennina'

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Gaja's Rennina is sourced from their vineyards in Tavernelle, some of their oldest vines and right in the heart of Montalcino's best locations at around 300 - 350 metres in elevation. Originally this wine was sourced from one single parcel, now it is from 3 parcels namely Pian di Cerni, with a South, South-West exposure; Castagno Vecchio to South-West, and Santo Pietro to the West. All these sites each add a little something to the final wine, making it complete and complex. Of the two 'Cru' wines made in Montalcino by Gaja, Rennina is the more elegant. Gaja makes the analogy that Rennina is the Barbaresco with Sugarille being the Barolo.

Rennina 2016 has impressive depth to the colour with the fruit being incredible dark in character. Beautiful minerality and intensity together with remarkable freshness. Despite what you may have heard about the quality of the 2016s, the wines from this year are nothing like the 2010s, the former seem to be holding back rather than delivering all the goods in one go. Drink from 2025 but you may have to wait a little longer to get it at its true potential.

"Healthy mid ruby. Perfumed, energetic nose of cherry and raspberry with minerally notes and hints of black pepper and perfectly aligned with oak. Transparent and perfumed palate, but not entirely open yet, with finely chiselled long tannins. Gorgeous balance and freshness." Walter Speller,, 17.5 Pts

"The Pieve Santa Restituta 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina (with 15,000 bottles produced) offers intensity and beautifully concentrated fruit. The bouquet reveals layers of wild cherry, rose, blue flower and candied orange peel. However, if you are expecting a more subdued Rennina, that's not what you get in this classic 2016 vintage. The wine is buzzing with energy and vitality, with a lifted and an especially brilliant set of aromas. You might also detect a hint of fresh peppercorn or coriander seed that gives the wine a veil of the exotic." Monica Larner,, 95+ Pts

Grape Varieties

Drink 2025 - 2032+



Size / ABV

Standard Bottle 75cl / 14.5%

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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