The 2014 vintage produced a small crop due to the challenge of the very cool and rainy year. However, it has been a pleasing vintage expressing intense and mineral wines.
Climate and harvest
The 2014 vintage was marked by a mild winter, a cool and rainy spring and a moderately warm and quite rainy summer, especially in July when we counted 20 separate rainfalls. The temperatures were far below the annual average, never exceeding 29°C. The winds, typical and constant in the Bolgheri region, were less evident than usual. Instead of the cool and dry northerly Tramontana wind, the warm and southerly Scirocco made its sporadic appearance throughout the whole September. To ensure healthy and evenly ripe grapes we thinned the heaviest leaves in our vineyards. We also had to go through the toughest grape selection which lead us to a 40% reduction in the overall production. The harvest was also late: it begun on September 15 with the Viognier and ended on October 4 with the Vermentino.
Fresh and floral bouquet of elderflower, acacia flower and lily, with a balsamic hint of white musk and anise. The palate is open and rich in stone fruit—like white peach and fresh apricot—with light notes of passion fruit and lychee. The pleasant acidity hints to the cool weather trend of this vintage and supports the drinkability. The high mineral content, which leads to an almost salty end, reminds us of the vineyard’s proximity to the sea.
Lying on a hillside overlooking the Tyrrhenian coast, the Vistamare vineyards benefit from the great luminosity and the heady marine breeze.
60% Vermentino, 40% Viognier
The two varieties ferment separately, Vermentino in steel vats and Viognier in wood. Then, Vermentino ages for 6 months in steel while Viognier in oak, and finally they are blended.
The 2012 vintage was characterized by warm, sunny and dry weather. Compared to the mostly constant heat in 2011, the 2012 temperatures were less consistent, mitigated by the cooling autumn rainfalls. The Camarcanda 2012 shows generous and lively aromas with a supple and silky body.
Climate and harvest
The 2012 winter was particularly dry, with two weeks of intense low temperatures in February. The following rainy spring provided the soil with the proper amount of water, which was crucial during the dry and hot 2012 summer. Despite the warm temperatures of the summer, the daily coastal winds balanced the heat in August and few rain showers in September lead to a regular and gentle grape ripening. The harvest began on September 3 with the Merlot and ended on September 27 with the Sangiovese. Merlot benefited particularly from the spring rainfalls and the moisture-retaining limestone and clay soils that characterize Camarcanda vineyard, while the steady warm temperatures all throughout the summer favored the ripening of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were healthy and perfectly ripe, however the particularly small berries and small harvest resulted in a 30 percent drop in production.
The bouquet displays notes of spirit cherries, rhubarb, green pepper, lemon zest and cassis. In the glass these fresh aromas evolve into broom flowers, medical herbs, mint and sandal. The same aromas are expressed in the palate, accompanied by a persistent and fresh end, smooth and sweet tannins.
Planted on white soil rich in limestone, firm clay and stones.
The three varieties ferment and macerate separately for around 15 days. After 18 months of ageing in oak, they are blended and then aged for several months in the bottle before being released.
Featured in the latest issue of Wine Advocate, Ca’ Marcanda scored 92+ points on several new vintages:
I had the opportunity to taste this flight of wines first with Angelo and Gaia Gaja in Barbaresco, Piedmont, and later directly in Bolgheri, Tuscany, at the Consorzio. The first tasting was in the spring and the second in the fall. Over the course of those summer months, these wines have really fleshed out, and grown in intensity and complexity.—MONICA LARNER
94 pts – Ca’ Marcanda Camarcanda 2012
No one understands why Angelo Gaja keeps this wine as a Bolgheri Rosso when it has all the qualities to be a Bolgheri Superiore (which is what it really is from a winemaking point of view). The 2012 Bolgheri Carmarcanda is a beautifully perfumed and delicate expression with an enormous sense of aromatic lift and purity. This blend of Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc is absolutely seamless and harmonious on all fronts. Its most attractive aspect is the consistency. It shows enormous grace and harmony but it never loses its power or persistency.
94 pts – Ca’ Marcanda Magari 2013
This is the second year that this wine is a DOC (In 2011, Magari was still an IGT Toscana). The 2013 Bolgheri Rosso Magari is a gorgeous wine that shows that signature touch that only Angelo Gaja can deliver. The overall effect is thick, delicious and enduring. The blend is Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc so you get those upfront aromas of cherry compote with firm tannins at the back. The 2013 vintage shows superior harmony and complexity.
92+ pts – Ca’ Marcanda Promis 2013
Angelo Gaja always presents one of the most exciting tastings of the year. The 2013 Promis (Merlot, Syrah and a small part Sangiovese) reveals all the hallmarks of the excellent vintage. The wine offers a supple and smooth entry that is creamy and delicious. Spice, dark fruit, cherry, blackberry, tar, resin and cola come to attention. The tannins still show some attitude so I would recommend giving this wine a few more years of cellar aging. The intensity, depth and persistency promise many years of forward-looking cellar aging.
Shivani Vora, who also contributes to the New York Times, chose five bottles of ‘secret’ wine that are produced on the same estates as high-end wines but at a more affordable price point. Among them is GAJA’s Ca’ Marcanda:
These hidden gems are sometimes produced on the same estates using the same grapes as the super stars, but the fruit for them usually comes from younger vines and isn’t considered to be up to snuff for the top-end wine. In other instances, they’re made in a different region altogether.—SHIVANI VORA
Ca’ Marcanda Magari 2013 by GAJA
“The family-run label Gaja is based in the medieval village of Barbaresco in Italy’s Piedmont region and is famous for the Sori San Lorenzo, which can run $500 or more. The 40-acre property the Gaja’s own in Tuscany’s upper Maremma, on the other hand, is hardly talked about but should be. It’s here where this silky red wine is created with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. Taste wise, it’s rich and full-bodied with a smooth finish. Add in the comparatively affordable price, and you’ve got a wine that’ll make you a star any time you share it.”
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The winery's flagship wine takes its name from the estate, Ca' Marcanda, the house of endless negotiations.
Magari means if only it were true!, an expression used often in Italian to express desire, hope, and a vision of a bright future.
The proprietary name Promis (pronounced proh-MEESS) was created by the Gaja family to denote commitment, expectation, fulfillment, and hope: the promise of quality and the reward of diligence and excellence.