Probably the most well-known and respected name in Italian wine is GAJA. They have been the bar that the others have been chasing for over 150 years. The winery started for the soul purpose of making wine to complement the food at Giovanni Gaja’s restaurant in Barbaresco but of course wound up being the next biggest thing since sliced bread.
Angelo Gaja continued his grandfather’s legacy beautifully in the 1960’s, establishing the winery as the international powerhouse it is today. He championed planting Cab Sauv, Chard and Sauvignon Blanc varietals in Piedmont at a time when no one else would dare. He was also paramount in bringing Nebbiolo front and center on the world’s stage, a spot they haven’t relenquished since.
The 2021 Magari has Glowing, intense color and shows a complex character without being brash. The nose opens up little by little, it starts fresh to then develop to ripe red fruits, followed by graphite, juniper and liquorice. The palate is sweet and long, with notes of mulberry and sour cherry. The fine-grained tannins are extremely silky. The finish is sapid and very memorable.
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95 Pts, Wine & Spirits
Cabernet franc makes up 60 per- cent of Magari, bolstering the blend’s structure and freshness (it no longer includes merlot). The wine’s flavors of blackcurrant and plum show a pleasant tangy edge, its earthy tannins firmly guiding the fruit tones without overwhelming them. Hints of licorice and graphite emerge with air, and the dark fruit mingles with iodine notes on the long, seamless finish.
94 Pts, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The Ca’ Marcanda 2019 Bolgheri Rosso Magari offers a surprisingly subtle side to the three very powerful grapes that make up the blend. These are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The bouquet is generous and full, with an intricate embroidery of lavender flower, garden herb, black fruit, spice and tobacco. You might even detect a hint of black olive. Magari is structured and solid but never heavy, and it offers a good sense of fresh acidity that makes for a lively and bright finish. That more acidic vein is neatly folded into ample fruity sweetness and flavor.
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