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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


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



Wine Spectator: Toscana Promis 2015 91 Points

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“There is purity to the cherry and black currant fruit, laid out on a velvety texture, with hints of cedar, sandalwood and green olive. Harmonious, long and ready to enjoy. Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. Drink now through 2024. 6,250 cases made.” – Bruce Sanderson


Daily Meal – Piedmont Soul & Tuscan Soil: Gaja Breaks Ground in Bolgheri with Ca’ Marcanda Wines

Ca' Marcanda wines Gaja


When your name is known around the world for producing some of Italy’s most extraordinary wines, staying in the relative comfort zone of your vineyards in Piedmont would be the safe thing to do. Lucky for us, the Gaja family does not believe in playing it safe. Gaja’s winemaking roots in Piedmont run deep and can be traced back to 1859. But Gaja’s journey towards icon status really kicked off in 1961 when Angelo Gaja began working at the family winery after completing studies in enology at Alba and Montpellier. Angelo introduced innovations that revolutionized winemaking at his family’s winery and he is widely credited for single-handedly establishing Barbaresco’s reputation as one of the world’s great wine appellations.

Giovanni Gaja generously shared his family’s Ca’ Marcanda wines and their winemaking philosophy with me. 

So why Tuscany? This is the question that I posed to Giovanni Gaja, Angelo’s son and the 5th generation (along with his older sisters Gaia and Rossana) of this winemaking dynasty. With a smile he replied that the family’s 150+ years of experience with Nebbiolo had emboldened them to say “let’s try this with Brunello,” so in 1994 they ventured to Tuscany and purchased Pieve Santa Restituta winery in Montalcino. In 1996 they acquired Ca’ Marcanda – a stunning estate in Bolgheri, in the Tuscan coastal region of Maremma. But even with a name like Gaja, securing the property in Bolgheri took tremendous patience and tenacity. Angelo Gaja spent so many hours convincing the property’s previous owners to sell him the estate, the family decided to name their hard-fought jewel Ca’ Marcanda, which is the Piedmontese term for “house of endless negotiations.”

Impact2_openimage courtesy of Ca’Marcanda

Gaja’s persistence paid off beautifully and the wines of Ca’ Marcanda eloquently express their Tuscan terroir and the skill of the winemaker. The first winery from the Gaja family that was designed and built from the ground up with Angelo’s vision, Ca’ Marcanda is a deeply personal venture and a source of pride.

Cmcbarrique300dpi-720image courtesy of Ca’ Marcanda

As the youngest of the Gaja siblings, Giovanni and Ca’ Marcanda are so close in age that they essentially grew up together and Giovanni jokes “Ca’ Marcanda was my puppy.” Giovanni has a strong emotional connection to Ca’ Marcanda and during our conversation it became clear that it isn’t just another winery in their portfolio but an essential part of the ongoing Gaja legacy of innovation and excellence.

Ca' Marcanda Vistamare
Ca’ Marcanda Vistamare 2016 ($65) is the only white wine produced by the estate. Vistamare means sea view and the vineyards used to craft this wine are subtly influenced by the salt air. A blend of Vermentino and Viognier, Giovanni describes this crisp but luscious white wine as a fine example of “opposites attract.” Vermentino thrives in the sea breezes and Viognier prefers the heat, but together they create something special and absolutely delicious. Viognier’s rich velvety nature is given superb structure from the acidity and minerality of the Vermentino. Vibrant and harmonious, Vistamare is a winner.

Ca Marcanda Promis
A beautifully balanced blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Sangiovese Ca’ Marcanda Promis 2015 ($48) is a great introduction to Gaja’s Tuscan reds. A truly Mediterranean style with a fresh tapestry of sweet, savory, and herbal flavors, Promis is silky and graceful.

Ca' Marcanda Magari
The vineyards for Ca’ Marcanda Magari 2015 ($65) are further away from the sea and the richer soils impart the wines with intensity and depth. Magari means “if only it were true” and this blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot is the real deal. Rich but not overwhelming, Magari has layers of ripe dark berry flavors with savory herbal accents. Quite a sexy vino!

Only produced in exceptional years, Camarcanda 2013 ($145) is the estate’s namesake and flagship wine. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, the grapes were cultivated in white soils, rich in calcareous clay, that are ideal for crafting wines with long aging potential. Deep in color and flavor, this is a wine that demands that you take your time to savor its complex charms.

Made with passion and expertise by a family with a rich legacy, the wines of Ca’ Marcanda are absolutely captivating.

From by Wanda Mann

Ca’Marcanda turns 20!


These have been twenty exciting years full of many satisfactions. Thanks to the beauty of the place, the peace that the landscape instils, and the elegance and the fullness of its wines, our love for Bolgheri renews itself every day. These have been twenty years of commitment, experimentation and research to fully express the characteristics of the
soils, to elevate the wines’ aging potential and their elegance. To represent the exceptional territory of Bolgheri, in the last three years we have also re-thought some of our vineyards. We favored more late ripening varieties, able to express fresh notes and more moderate alcohol. The Merlot vineyards have been downsized to include only the areas that proved consistency and quality potential in line with our goals.

Iphone photos 218
On some vineyards, we preferred grafting Cabernet Franc, which over the years charmed us with its freshness and its botanical notes. We considered other vineyards more suitable to express the floral and dark fruit notes, elegant and compact tannins
of Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus, from 2015 vintage, the Ca’Marcanda wines will partially change their composition.

Camarcanda vineyard
PROMIS will not change in its blend: through the years, its fulfilling perfumes have acquired complexity and its body has become juicier and silkier.
MAGARI will predominantly be made of Cabernet Franc with a small addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The last two will contribute to its structure, acidity, roundness and color.
CAMARCANDA has not been bottled in the 2014 vintage and starting from 2015 it will be composed mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc.

Ca_marcanda space view

The blends are thus the following:







James Suckling on Promis: ‘Succulent and Delicious’


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

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.

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

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