Angelo Gaja, the Italian wine, the emblem of man winning. It is one to which we must keep up because it goes fast, and forces in all directions in pursuit, both for its strong art that dialectic for fast walking.
But few may know that there was a time when Angelo Gaja has almost lost, when loneliness was dogged by back and forth between Piedmont and Tuscany, in a round trip that ended with a frustrating night falls without the desired results.
And each time, in the dark, his wife seemed to be asleep in bed, but opened one eye and whispered, "I knew ... that there is a ca 'Marcanda ...", is a house on the market forever. But then things went right, and indeed here we are: a Ca 'Marcanda.
"Well, the adventure begins in 1996 ..." No time to close the doors of the car that Angelo Gaja, waiting on the road, starts the description of its second outpost in Tuscany made after the first foray into the land of Montalcino (the Pieve Santa Restituta) and rises near the Via Bolgherese, a haven for the enthusiast with its sequence of signs of companies known or emerging but already on everyone's lips.
In 1996, we said, dates from the purchase of this estate which now has 60 hectares of vines, but the idea is to expand out of Piedmont a decade earlier, "when it became clear that we were able to deliver energy that would require a new vent. We had men and powers, but larger in Piedmont seemed problematic, and this is therefore the choice of Tuscany. obvious choice because we wanted a place rossisti and climatically most favored. In this land, compared to Piedmont is' a recreation '. You know how many times we do not have bottled Langhe? In '84 Barbaresco nothing, nothing in '87 cru bottling anything in '91, '92, '94 ... a situation which is often frustrating. Here are the wines of sun and light, a godsend, "and this aspect will be for recreational Gaja who now divides his time almost equally between Barbaresco and Tuscany.
But we must add that in addition to the undeniable benefits climate, an additional point in favor of Bolgheri was already clearing a road that allowed others to take risks because they had already worked to explore the potential of the area and introduce them properly. In short, the forerunner Gaja Piedmont Tuscany went on the heels of other samples: just remember that when it came to buy the estate was sufficient to look for colors shown un'abbozzata zoning maps lise procurategli by the then municipal commissioner Piermario Meletti Cavallari ( Grattamacco). It was not difficult to focus on land that had the same colors as those of Sassicaia.
But then on things were not so simple: if someone like Gaja should not be difficult to purchase a farm, as we have already mentioned, the story of the negotiations for the purchase of the records instead of a comedy De Filippo, with the old owners that "we do not even think about selling" the stubborn and tried all of the Piedmont, even offering to rent to grow their Vermentino (!), but to find a loophole. A negotiation for months and months and ended with the turn of events, coll'intervento solvers a sister, also a co-owner, who went by his word all along.
But now the market is over and the company has become a really impressive, as was visible from an outside well-tended olive groves where the protagonists are spectacularly, because if it also means the vineyard in the Langhe landscape aesthetics, the olive tree in Tuscany is to be leading man. A short characteristic path leading to the entrance of the cellar, which we follow without even understanding that we are on an embankment and that the structure that you pour in the face is just the tip of the iceberg. "What you see are the offices, but the winery is completely underground and hidden on three sides by an embankment that we covered with olive trees: we have passed 300 and is not an upset!" The absolute precision and attention to detail are just witnesses to the olive trees perfectly trimmed, the lawn is a green carpet of herbs and plants that adorn the avenue. And the attention given to the meadows that surround the winery directly stems from the desire of a Gaja that you leave to go so far as to curse discovering the ugly sign of a tire.
The building, designed by Giovanni Asti Bo, impresses with its modern environments: the use of simple everyday materials such as basalt tiles covering the floors of the whole structure of the old iron pipes or pipeline reused columns carriers, and at the same time very modern art.
In the rooms used to represent the huge hits for the tasting table, but going to the wineries philosophy does not change much. Here unloading areas of the grapes, much too large, like the rest of the structure for the planned 300 thousand bottles per hour, and then the mezzanine hosting the barrel. Two floors three and a half meters at the level of seven meters used for vinification. Everything is clean and functional, designed from scratch to minimize the stress of wine and to rationalize production. Functional and technology, as the air conditioning system incorporated in the floors, "the first of its kind in Italy."
And the vineyards? "In the sixty acres we have about 50% merlot, 17% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc and syrah then. For now, the sangiovese di Montalcino is from our company, but we are planting in Bibbona. We chose a Each planted wide enough, a classic 2 x 0.8 meters. Perhaps then we would have preferred more tightly spaced vineyards, but did not appear that the manufacturers of agricultural machinery were needed to provide a decent service, and then gave up. And anyway we would like to make an elegant wine, without taking into extreme concentrations, so we do the pruning, but we remain on production of 50-55 tons per hectare, which means about 1.2 kilograms of grapes per vine. "
It is noted that throughout the architect wanted to hybridize features and artwork. As in the great chandelier that lights up the stairs, or even more, the large roof that covers the square in front of the open side of the winery (on back): a chaotic tangle of iron girders supporting function that combines the visual effect.
Great attention to the image, then that is clearly not limited to the winery and its surroundings, but finds himself on the wines whose labels, style simple and geometrical, are designed by Bersanetti, son of Luigi Veronelli, which also should be made a monument, "the oil is doing to the same campaign he did for us thirty years ago, and I must confess that we had not got it!"
In the great tasting table are placed the bottles of Promis (55% merlot, 35% syrah and 10% sangiovese) and Maybe (50% merlot, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 25% cabernet franc), the two products on the market for now . A choice will probably be decided by Guido Rivella, who looks after the wine side, avoiding competition nell'uvaggio near the famous Sassicaia. A scheme will be three wines, with the new Camarcanda 2000, Bolgheri Rosso DOC Merlot secure base, which is currently being refined.
It served, not without a certain emotion, Angelo Gaja himself (on the other hand this is also part of the character and style of Piedmont, who sees the winemaker at the center of the company, large or small it is), we begin our tastings.
Promis 2000: ruby compact, the evidence for the role, and that admits light, you can just be the wine sample tank. Excellent though the plot aromatic, nuanced and elegant cherry and black currant, violet and then rosemary. Intrigue spices edges and earthy notes. The mouth is mellow, sweet, soft and clear by the attack on the bottom crunchy and tasty vegetable. Insists merlot in addressing the plots, while trying to record warm and pleasant, without undue fuss, taking them good breath and concentration and a Future Fusion already intuited that happy. We reserve the final length and spices in a more auspicious, territorial tannic roughness, who comforts and raises.
Maybe the 2000 (Ms Gaja is still inspiring the name, saying, 'maybe!' In front of a beautiful label) runs clear from the bottle. The dark ruby in the glass, with its youthful purple hues, it's nice and comforting in its natural, understated style appearance, and besides opening up a rich and deep nose, persuasive and progressive, which gives little resistance. Sprinkled with fresh blueberry jam, plum, spice wake up fine vegetable and berry berries and a hint of pepper in the background, takes air continuously spreading and dedication, fading gently into a puff of tobacco. The palate is crisp and mellifluous, friendly and popular, to reveal a large fruit married and calibrated as needed to master a smooth tannins. We will remember him for elegance, grace, an invitation to drink, the extraordinary liaison roverizzata, to compose and enrich rather than borrow and plaster. After all, is the desire to drink again. And this perhaps, pending the expected future growth, is perhaps the most beautiful message.
After two hours spent listening to the words of the most famous Italian winemaker in the world, enraptured by the sunny countryside and architecture of Ca 'Marcanda, finally managed to pull of Angelo Gaja, who is already running to Montalcino, a small portrait of the final himself: "I am a lucky man, who does a job he likes, which took from his father and three generations strong assumptions and inputs just to do well, and could do so with the help of talented staff and a great wife. "
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Images Ca' Marcanda (Gaja)