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Wine Spectator: Ca’ Marcanda Earns Two-94 Point Ratings

May 16, 2018
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Camarcanda 2015: “A tightly wound version, with black cherry, blueberry, tobacco and iron flavors etched into a sleek, tensile texture. Balanced on the tannic side and in need of a grilled steak or lamb. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2033.”– Bruce Sanderson.

Magari 2016: “Black currant and black cherry fruit mingles with mint, olive, graphite and tobacco notes in this red. Elegant, with ample density and bright acidity, ending in a firm, fruit-, mineral- and herb-tinged aftertaste. Well-proportioned and classy. Cabernet Franc blend. Best from 2020 through 2030.”– Bruce Sanderson.

Vinous: 2015 ‘Ca Marcanda Gets 95 Points

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“The 2015 Ca’ Marcanda is one of the most polished, sensual wines I have tasted from the Gaja family’s Ca’ Marcanda estate. Beautifully layered and silky on the palate, with striking aromatic nuance, the 2015 is super-impressive. Cedar, tobacco, crushed flowers and herbs are some of the many notes that open up in this undeniably appealing mid-weight wine.”

Drinking Window: 2022-2035

Antonio Galloni, Tasting date: April 2018

Vinous: 2016 Magari Garners 92 Points

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“The 2016 Magari is a dark, powerful wine. In most vintages, Magari is a wine of Tuscan charm, but powerful tannins give the 2016 a somewhat compact feel. There is plenty of depth to the black fruit, mocha, new leather and spice flavors, but the 2016 is clearly very young. There is not much Bolgheri charm in the early going. The 2016 is going to need at least a few years in the bottle to come together.”

Drinking Window: 2021 – 2031

– Antonio Galloni, Tasting date: April 2018

 

Vinous: 2016 Promis Gets 91 Pts

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“The 2016 Promis is fresh, floral and inviting. Bright raspberry and floral notes, along with mid-weight structure, make the 2016 an ideal wine for drinking now and over the next few years. This is an especially refined, gracious Maremma red.”

Drinking Window: 2018-2020

– Antonio Galloni, Tasting date: April 2018

Bolgheri Magari 2015: Wine Pick of the Day’ in Wine Spectator on 3/31/2018

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Bolgheri Magari 2015: 92 Points

“Plump Cherry, black currant and plum fruit is matched by hints of wild herbs, pine and mint in this fluid red. Fine harmony and intensity midpalate carries through to the lingering aftertaste of black currant, herbs and spice. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2024. 5,000 cases made.” – Bruce Sanderson

 

Wine Spectator: Bolgheri Ca’ Marcanda 2010 and 2015 Each Receive 95 Point Scores

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Angelo Gaja came to Bolgheri in 1996. He planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah in different parcels on his Bolgheri estate according to soil type and composition. The flagship Camarcanda initially was based on Merlot, but recent vintages rely mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon. Magari comes from different parcels on the estatel; it is mostly Cabernet Franc, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Promis, a broader blend that includes vineyards in Bibbona, is mostly half Merlot, with Syrah and Sangiovese.

Bolgheri Ca’ Marcanda 2007 – 93 Points

Bolgheri Ca’ Marcanda 2010 – 95 Points

Bolgheri Ca’ Marcanda 2013 – 95 Points

Bolgheri Magari 2015 – 92 Points

Bolgheri Promis 2015 – 91 Points

To read the rest of the article and see the scores awarded by Bruce Sanderson, please click here WS Bolgheri Scores

 

WS: Excerpts from Article on Bolgheri: Tuscany’s Napa

CA MARCANDA LOCATION MAP

Bolgheri has become a world-class wine region by challenging conventions and adopting international grapes

By Bruce Sanderson

Below are excerpts related to Gaja from this article.

Bolgheri is the coastal outpost of Tuscany. Located two hours drive west of Siena, it stretches 8 miles along the Mediterranean, from Bibbona southward to beyond Donoratico. The political boundary is the commune of Castagneto Carducci, named after Giosuè Carducci, a poet who won Italy’s first Nobel prize in literature, in 1906. Carducci lived in the area and often wrote about the rugged yet charming countryside.

“By the mid-1990s, the quality of the wines being made in Bol­gheri drew great attention to the area, attracting a host of promi­nent outsiders. Angelo Gaja arrived in 1996, purchasing Ca’ Marcanda just off the Strada Bolgherese…Gaja and Allegrini were well-known from their respec­tive wineries in Barbaresco, Montalcino and Valpolicella. Bolgheri was still finding its style and growing quickly. Their presence reinforced the region’s reputation.

Gaja, who had planted Cabernet Sauvignon in Pied­mont and made a wine called Darmagi there, was inter­ested in working more with that variety. “Giacomo Tachis, with whom I kept a long friendship, would always tell me, ‘Wine loves the breath of the sea,’” recalls Gaja. “After having planted Cabernet Sauvignon in Piedmont in  1978, the curiosity grew in me of experiencing how Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot express themselves close to the sea. “The project of a blend was fascinating, like a photog­rapher who for a long time worked in black and white starting to discover colors,” he adds. Merlot was at first prominent in the vineyards and blend of Camarcanda, the winery’s top cuvee, with as much as 50 percent in the initial blend.

However, the 2015 con­tains no Merlot and the portion of Cabernet Sauvignon has doubled from 40 percent to 80 percent. Like others in Bolgheri, Ca’ Marcanda is downplaying Merlot. “Merlot continues to offer many producers in Bolgheri the opportunity of making great wines,” says Gaja. “On the soils of our property, we preferred to downsize Merlot in favor of Cabernet Franc and a small quantity of Petit Verdot. Time will tell if we took the right decision.” …
Wines such as Omellaia, Masseto, Messorio and Serio from Le Macchiole, Guado al Tasso, Gaja’s Camarcanda and Allegrini’s Poggio al Tesoro have a more “New World” character. There’s plenty of ripe fruit up front yet the wines generally avoid extremes of concentration or extraction, and the best offer depth and com­plexity. Le Macchiole’s Merli, for one, aims for fruit in her wines. “When you taste the berries, we want the same sensation in the wine,” she states.  However, with some bottle age, many Bolgheri wines show aro­mas and flavors of the wild herbs and Mediterranean scrub that are specific to Tuscany’s coast. And these “balsamic” notes can be more pronounced in certain vintages….

Many producers have planred new vineyards in the commune of Bibbona, Bolgheri’s neighbor to the north. Ca’ Marcanda, Poggio al Tesoro, Le Macchiole and Podere Sapaio all have vineyards in Bibbona. Bibbiona has proven its potential with wine such as those produced at Tenuta di Biserno, the new project from Lodovico Antinori in partnership with his brother Piero. The climate is cooler and therefore more amenable to white grape va­rieties and to Sangiovese, according to Ca’ Marcanda’s Rossana Gaja. In addition to the quality potential, Bibbona vineyard land is one-third to one-half of the price of land in Bolgheri….

Consortium president Federico Zileri insists the Bolgheri DOC will not expand to include Bibbona. “Bolgheri is very young, we are just beginning, so we have to go very slowly,” he says. Others, like consortium vice president Priscilla lncisa della Rocchetta and vintner Angelo Gaja agree, despite the fact that Gaja owns nearly 90 acres of vineyards in Bibbona. “I believe it’s a mistake to sustain the need of enlarging a DOC area because of the successful sales of its wines,” Gaja states. “Italy needs jewels to shine in the wine scene, wine such as Bar­baresco, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Amarone. Each of these wines has history and reasons behind them and those have to be respected and protected.” …

Bolgheri is one of Italy’s greatest success stories. But it is in its infancy in wine terms. With an average age of less than 13 years, the vineyards are still relatively young. If you consider 1990 a watershed for Bolgheri, its his­tory spans fewer than 30 years. In that time, the number of producers has increased from six to more than 50. Hundreds of wines have earned out­standing ratings over the past quarter­century, and two dozen have rated 95 points or higher. Compared to the greater Maremma area that surrounds it and whose wines struggle to find an identity, Bolgheri’s wines express a dis­tinctive style, based on its small size and unique terroir…

The most recent vintages show an alluring mix of international grape varieties combined with freshness, a mineral expression and an infusion of the local Mediterranean scrub and wild herbs that render the wines distinctly Bolgherian. The trio of 2015, 2016 and 2017 may prove to be the region’s best years yet, elevating Bolgh­eri to the next level and increasing the demand for its wines. This year, Sassicaia celebrates its 50th anniversary. From this one wine, which inspired so many others, Bolgheri has grown and evolved from a rugged, beautiful and isolated landscape to one of Tuscany’s most important wine regions. Bolgheri is now home to stellar, collectible wines that bear witness to the region’s place on the world stage alongside not only celebrated sites in Tuscany and Italy, but also Bordeaux and Napa.

For a copy of the full article, please click WS Bolgheri – Tuscany’s Napa