The flagship Camarcanda starts with Cabernet Sauvignon and brings Cabernet Franc into play to build a full, ripe, round red. Sun-kissed currants, dried flowers and new leather rise from the glass, opening the gate to an expansive wine with silky tannins and a great finish. Already expressive, another few years in the bottle wouldn’t do a lick of harm as this continues to evolve over the next decade-plus.
Angelo Gaja, born in 1940, remains the alpha male of Italian winemaking, one of a long line of natural-born leaders and entrepreneurs. His father, Giovanni, was the political secretary for Barbaresco under Mussolini, and was so popular with the local citizenry that the Italian resistance never harmed him during WWII. Giovanni went on to become Mayor of Barbaresco from 1958 to 1983. For most of the postwar period, Giovanni worked as a construction manager all over Piedmont, and invested all of his earnings in land, while his mother, Clotilde Rey, AKA Tildin, ran the winery. By the time young Angelo entered the family business in 1961, the family owned 82 acres of prime vineyard land in Barbaresco and their brand was already well-known throughout Italy. In the following years, Angelo went on to build an Italian institution, adding estate vineyards in the Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and Bolgheri appellations. Today Gaja [GUY-yuh] is arguably the most prestigious wine brand in Italy.
Subtle aromas of blackberries, fresh basil and violets follow through to a medium body with poise and focus and extremely polished, fine tannins. Chewy, yet refined. Give this two or three years to come together.