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James Suckling on Promis: ‘Succulent and Delicious’

cmcpromis-nvlabel300dpi

Here’s a new review of the 2014 Promis from veteran journalist and wine critic James Suckling:

GAJA Ca’Marcanda Toscana Promis 2014
90 points

A soft and fruity red with subtle tannins, light chocolate and currant character. Medium Finish. Succulent and delicious. Drink now.

See more at JamesSuckling.com.

Promis 2014 Tasting Notes Released

2014 promis bottleThe 2014 has been overall 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 weather trend has been 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 episodes of rainfalls. The temperatures have been 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 sporadic appearances throughout the whole of September. To ensure healthy and evenly ripe grapes we proceeded with the heaviest leaves thinning ever done in our vineyards. We also had to go through the toughest grape selection which lead us to a 50% reduction in the overall production. The harvest has been late, it begun on September 15 with Merlot and ended with Cabernet Sauvignon on October 4.

Tasting notes
The 2014 weather trend has benefited the early ripening varieties. In particular, both Merlot and Syrah have performed well in Promis 2014. Bright and lively purple-nuanced color. The nose opens up with sweet notes of blackberry and black cherry, followed by the typical Syrah spiciness – notably cinnamon, black pepper and clove. In the mouth, the Merlot-core of the wine is open and fulfilling, lightened by the juiciness from Sangiovese. The final is remarkably fresh, with notes of moist earth, fresh-cut grass and roots.

Vineyards
In Bolgheri and in the neighboring area of Bibbona, mainly planted on dark soils full of lime and clay.

Appellation
Toscana I.G.T.

Grape varieties
55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 10%Sangiovese

Winemaking method
The three varieties ferment and macerate separately for around 15 days. After 12 months of ageing in oak, they are blended and then aged for several months in the bottle before release.

First vintage produced
2000

Magari 2014 Tasting Notes Released

2014 magari bottleThe 2014 has been overall 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 weather trend has been 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 episodes of rainfalls. The temperatures have been 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 sporadic appearances throughout the whole of September. To ensure healthy and evenly ripe grapes we proceeded with the heaviest leaves thinning ever done in our vineyards. We also had to go through the toughest grape selection which lead us to a 50% reduction in the overall production. The harvest has been late, it begun on September 15 with Merlot and ended with Cabernet Sauvignon on October 4.

Tasting notes
Deep and vivid purple color. In the bouquet of 2014 Magari features well the fresh and floral character of Cabernet Franc. It takes a while to open up, but when it does the nose expresses complex aromas of balsamic herbs – notably mint and eucalyptus – ink and sweet spices. It also has a particular hint of anise and dill, lavender and violet flowers. In the mouth is juicy and sweet, with notes of crunchy black cherry. The wine is well balanced and harmonic in the final.

Vineyards
In Bolgheri, both on dark soil rich in lime and clay, and white soil full of limestone, clay and stones.

Appellation
Bolgheri D.O.C.

Grape varieties
50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc

Winemaking method
The three varieties ferment and macerate separately for around 15 days. After 12 months of ageing in oak, they are blended and then aged for several months in the bottle before release.

First vintage produced
2000

Vistamare 2015 Tasting Notes Released

2015 vistamare bottleThe 2015 has been a positive vintage, notably in the Bolgheri area. Drinkability and juiciness are the features of this vintage which shows balance between acidity and perfectly ripen grape.

Climate and harvest
The 2015 winter has been a cold one followed by a rainy spring, thus providing the appropriate amount of water reserves to the soil and also decisively hampering the diseases pressure in the vineyards. The 2015 summer started with a positive and balanced situation in the vineyard, which has been crucial to face the very high temperatures of July and August. Very little selection has been necessary in the vineyard, and the 2015 grape which entered the cellar was clean and healthy. The fermentations have carried out regularly and without arrests, resulting in medium-to high acidity wines with remarkable fresh aromas. The harvest began with Viognier on August 27 and ended with Vermentino on September 11. The 2015 Vistamare displays a pleasant readiness to drinking.

Tasting notes
Clear and bright green-lemon color. The nose open up with typical Vermentino notes: white flowers and crispy citrus fruit. Viognier finds its expression through notes of melon, apricot and mirabelle plum. In the mouth, the blend of Vistamare finds its perfect balance, with Vermentino providing freshness and drinkability, while Viognier gives body and roundness to the palate. In the finish is clean and inviting with an almost salty touch, proving the sea-facing exposure of the Vistamare vineyards.

Vineyards
Lying on a sweet hillside overlooking the Tyrrhenian coast, the Vistamare vineyards benefit from the great luminosity and the heady marine breeze.

Appellation
Toscana I.G.T.

Grape varieties
60% Vermentino, 40% Viognier

Winemaking method
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.

First vintage produced
2009

Vistamare 2014 Tasting Notes Released

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.

 cmcvistamare-NVlabel300dpi

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. 

Tasting notes

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.

Vineyards

Lying on a hillside overlooking the Tyrrhenian coast, the Vistamare vineyards benefit from the great luminosity and the heady marine breeze.

Grape varieties

60% Vermentino, 40% Viognier

Winemaking method

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.

Camarcanda 2012 Tasting Notes Released

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.

CMC Camarcanda NV Fr Label

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.

Tasting notes

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.

Vineyards

Planted on white soil rich in limestone, firm clay and stones.

Winemaking method

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.

Ca’Marcanda Scores 92+ Points in Wine Advocate

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.