June 2013 #207
Leave it to Angelo Gaja and his team to make two of the most impressive Brunellos of the vintage. Both wines are magnificent in 2008. As always, the Rennina is the more floral and feminine of the wines, while the Sugarille is built on a firmer structural core. In the past, the two single-vineyard designate Brunellos have been further away in terms of quality, but in 2008 they are much closer. I suspect that has to do with the introduction of new non-vineyard designate Brunello, a wine I did not taste for this article. The Pieve Santa Restituta Brunellos typically offer considerable early appeal, but they have also proven to age exceptionally well.
Pieve Santa Restituta 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
In a vintage where so many wines already appear tired, Gaja’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina jumps from the glass with vibrant aromas and flavors. Violets, black cherries, tobacco, licorice and menthol all appear later, adding further shades of complexity. The tannins are firm yet beautifully integrated. Pieve Santa Restituta fans know than Rennina can be deceptively medium in body, yet it has a great track record for aging. Today, the wine is simply gorgeous. This is one of the few 2008s I would buy to cellar. There is little doubt the Rennina is one of the standouts in 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2026.
Pieve Santa Restituta 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille
The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is also exceptional. Firm tannins support a core of dark, expressive fruit in a wine that impresses for its depth, richness and concentration. Black cherries, tar, licorice, smoke and incense emerge over time as the Sugarille shows its typical brooding personality. Layers of fruit continue to build to the huge, enveloping finish. The Sugarille is another wine clearly built for aging. As is typically the case, the Sugarille is more tannin and vibrant than the Rennina. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2026.