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Outstanding Reviews for 2011 Sugarille, Rennina from International Wine Report

In a new tasting report on 2011 Brunello, Sugarille and Rennina have received outstanding reviews from International Wine Report:

GAJA Brunello di Montalcino ‘Sugarille’ 2011
94 Points
The 2011 ‘Sugarille’ Brunello di Montalcino is a absolutely seductive showing. It instantly opens with alluring aromas of black cherries and blackberries woven together with spices, floral, hazelnut and even hints of licorice which all come together and burst from the glass. This possesses a rich, polished texture with remarkable overall balance and depth as it expands beautifully onto the long lingering finish. In terms of style, this leans more to the modern side, but without question a well-made wine and extremely impressive Brunello from Angelo Gaja which will age gracefully for years to come. (Best 2018-2031)

GAJA Brunello di Montalcino ‘Rennina’ 2011
93 Points
The 2011 ‘Rennina’ Brunello di Montalcino presents a completely modern style, with loads of ripe dark fruit. As this instantly opens, it releases aromas of black cherries and blackberries woven together with spices, floral, leather and even hints of white truffle and vanilla all taking shape in the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied with a polished, yet muscular backbone and notable depth as it heads into the long finish. When tasting the 2011’s from Angelo Gaja side by side, I found the ‘Sugarille’ to be the more complete wine of the two, however ‘Rennina’ was the more expressive wine at this stage. (Best 2016-2029)

The International Wine Report’s full 2011 Brunello report is available online here.

95 Points for Sugarille, 94 for Rennina from Wine Advocate

Great reviews just in from the Wine Advocate!

2011 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille
95 points
A bit closed at first, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille sees fruit harvested from a five-hectare cru site with galestro limestone soils and all-southern exposures. Despite the initial shyness of the bouquet, this wine ultimately shows a more profound and elegant approach in this warm vintage. It just takes a little longer to get there. The nose offers a full spectrum of fruit, floral and earthy tones that speak so highly of this all-Sangiovese appellation. The wine is smooth and rich in terms of density with beautiful firmness at the bac

2011 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
94 points
The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is made from a blend of fruit from three different vineyard parcels. The sites total 25 hectares, with 15 located next to the church, or the Pieve, after which this estate is named. The sites have southwest exposures and different soil types. That flexibility explains the smooth and seamless bouquet offered by this wine. Compared to the single vineyard Sugarille expression, Rennina is more open and immediate. The wine presents fleshy and beautifully plump aromas of red cherry, dried blackberry and exotic spice with tobacco and chocolate at the back.

Notes on the 2011 Vintage and Wines

Weather conditions
The 2011 vintage began in typical fashion, with rainfall and temperatures around average through the springtime. This steady weather trend continued into the summer, punctuated by some heat spikes in July and then even more in the middle of August, driven by warm winds. The flowering and the setting of the berries was standard. The vegetative development was regular until July, when the vigor of the plants slowed due to the warm temperatures and the dry Scirocco winds. The spring rains and constant attention to the different management needs of each soil type helped counterbalance the effects of the heat. The harvest began on August 31 and ended on October 10.

Leaf coverage was maintained, but those grapes too exposed and suffering dehydration were eliminated. The strict selection in the vineyards along with overall low yield led to a 30 percent drop in quantity. The grapes showed freshness and bright aromas; fine structure, silky body and juiciness are the key features of this vintage.

gajpievstares-nvlabel300dpi-300pxBrunello di Montalcino 2011
The grapes for Brunello 2011 come from both the vineyard named Deserti, in the area of Torrenieri – located northeast of Montalcino village – and from a selection of Rennina and Sugarille vineyards that surround the church of Santa Restituta, southwest of Montalcino village. Deserti vineyard has northwest and southwest exposures, and its soil is a well-balanced mix of sand, clay and tuff. The area is windy and characterized by significant night-and-day temperature variation.

The 2011 Brunello opens with a bouquet of wildflowers and red berries, followed by fresh balsamic notes, notably sweet licorice and thyme. The palate is very clean, with flavors of fresh plum and red cherry, well integrated wood aromas and silky tannins.

Rennina 2011
Rennina is a blend of three vineyards:
1. Pian dei Cerri, with a southeast exposure and high amounts of galestro (a type of sedimentary schist);
2. Castagno Vecchio, with a southwest exposure, mainly sandy-stony soil and less clay;
3. and Santo Pietro, with a southwest exposure, clay and tuff soil with sporadic traces of sand.

All these vineyards surround the Santa Restituta Church. This area is historically called Rennina, and the wine take its name from it.

The Rennina 2011 displays an open floral nose, rich in dog-rose and pansy flower notes with a hint of aromatic herbs and spices, in particular juniper and white pepper. The juicy palate features of fresh red fruit, acidity and alcohol are well balanced. Firm and fine tannins lead to a fresh finish.


Sugarille 2011
From the homonymous south-exposed vineyard, 1 km from Santa Restituta Church. This is the historic vineyard of the estate, mentioned in the church inventory dated 1547. The soil of Sugarille is quite different from the rest of the estate – deeper and more compact, displaying a calcareous and marl composition and a significant presence of galestro.

This is the most compact and austere of the three Brunello from Pieve Santa Restituta, and Sugarille is the wine that requires the longest ageing. Intense notes of resin, sweet tobacco, ink and a final hue of flint make way for a concentrated palate of meaty aromas, black cherry and spices. Rich and long finish, with perceivable but elegant wood notes.

Pieve Santa Restituta Receives 93-Point Score by James Suckling

James Suckling has released his ratings on the 2011 Brunellos and Pieve Santa Restituta received two 92+ scores for their 2011 vintage Brunellos:

gajsugarille-nvlabel300dpi93 points: Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille

A powerful red with chewy tannins and hints of cedar and wood. Full-bodied, tight and tannic. I like the tannin tension. Needs two or three years to soften: Try in 2017.

92 points: Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina

A wonderfully polished, fruity red with cedar, berry and chocolate-powder aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, silky and delicious. Drink or hold.

Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille 2010 Scores 96 pts by Spectator

gajsugarille-nvlabel300dpi96 points: Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille 2010

The core of black cherry and plum is shaded by vanilla, coconut and sweet spice notes in this intensely flavored yet fluid red. Long and beautifully integrated at this young stage, with tobacco, leather and mineral details emerging on the aftertaste. Needs time. Best from 2019 through 2036.—B.S.

Wine Advocate Rates Pieve Santa Restituta 2010 Brunellos with 96+ Points!

Angelo Gaja and his family have released two masterpieces from their Montalcino cellars (after skipping the 2009 vintage). These are amazing wines that stand out in a blind tasting thanks to their infinite extract, density and all-round excellence. They follow an elaborately developed house style that applies to Gaja’s efforts in Piedmont and Bolgheri as well. These two Brunellos are more marked by the “Gaja” touch than the Montalcino signature. The personalized winemaking style overrides the territory-driven typicity. But no matter: These wines are simply delicious.

gajrenn-nvbottle300dpi97 pts – 2010 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina

An outstanding surprise, the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a monumental wine. The Rennina single vineyard is said to be more feminine compared to the bolder fruit sourced in the nearby Sugarille cru. But in the 2010 vintage, you definitely get a compelling sense of power, density and extraction. What distinguishes the wine is the delicate mineral signature that appears through the thick texture of the fruit. It’s like background music that gives cozy ambiance to an elaborately furnished ballroom. I consider the 2010 Rennina a masterpiece and, again, I just don’t know how Angelo Gaja does it. He is the winemaker with the Midas touch. Truth be told, the wine does lack territory-driven typicity. But it’s just so darn good, it hardly matters. It will continue its evolution for 10-20 years. Congratulations. – MONICA LARNER

96 pts – 2010 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille

The Gaja family’s 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille opens to striking intensity and beauty that is apparent even as you pour the wine from the bottle. The wine’s appearance is dark and so perfectly saturated with dark garnet and ruby highlights. On the nose, it shows infinite aromas of dark fruit, plum, dried figs, licorice, grilled herbs, cola and so much more. The complexity is outstanding. The Sugarille single vineyard delivers power and structure that gives this wine such a firm presence on the palate. But you also get a great sense of the quality of fruit that was harvested in 2010. Angelo Gaja skipped the 2009 vintage. But this vintage makes up for the loss with its long aging potential. This is an amazing wine to put way at the back of your cellar for ten years or more. What a delight. – MONICA LARNER

Antonio Galloni Rates Pieve Santa Restituta 2010 Brunello with 94+ Points

gajrennina-nvlabel300dpi95 pts: Pieve Santa Restituta 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina

The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is distinctly powerful and savory in this vintage. Iron, smoke and tobacco open up in a wine that is constantly changing in the glass. Initially quite reticent, the 2010 blossoms with air as the aromatics release and the tannins start to soften. There is a lot going on in this striking, highly nuanced Brunello from the Gaja family. If opened young, the 2010 needs a lot of air. I would be tempted to cellar the 2010 for at least a few years given the personality of the vintage and the wine’s track record for evolution in bottle. Drinking window: 2018 – 2030 –ANTONIO GALLONI

94 pts: Pieve Santa Restituta 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille

The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is darker, richer and more voluptuous than the Rennina. There the flavors are dark and assertive, with notable mid-palate richness and overall volume that flows through to the finish. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and cloves all fill out the wine’s broad-shouldered frame nicely. Hints of mocha, chocolate, spices and black-fleshed fruit add the final layers of nuance. Here, too, readers will have to be patient, although my sense is that the Sugarille will open up before the Rennina, which is quite unusual, but reflective of where both wines are today. Drinking window: 2018 – 2030 –ANTONIO GALLONI