Gaja Ca’Marcanda Promis Tuscana 2012

Gaja Ca’Marcanda Promis Tuscana 2012: Dark garnet color; ripe cherry, chocolate nose; robust blend

of merlot (55%), syrah (35%), and sangiovese (10%) yields blackberry, cherry, chocolate, plum, tobacco, toasty oak on the palate; good acidity, firm dusty tannins, lingering minerals on the finish; extra dry, multi-layered flavors evolve with air. This is a Super Tuscan heavy lifter; a wine that wine lovers will adore and leave wine abecedarians scratching their heads in perplexity—keep sipping, newbies, it will come to you eventually and your perseverance will be rewarded. Gaja is one of Italy’s most acclaimed makers; current owner Angelo Gaja often is credited with revolutionizing Italian winemaking, especially in Tuscany and Piemonte. The winery started in 1859 when the family immigrated from Spain, began hitting its stride in the 1930s, then pushed to the next level with Angelo in charge beginning in the early 1960s: authorities proclaimed him “undisputed king of Barbaresco” and “man who dragged Piedmont into the modern world.” (Old world winery stories are told in centuries instead of years.) By 1985, Wine Spectator opined Gaja’s barbaresco efforts were “the finest wines ever made in Italy.” Today, leadership of the winery has partially passed to Angelo’s daughters Gaia and Rossana; you get the point—sipping this stuff is to touch Italian (and world) royalty in winemaking, a privilege and a delight. Sip this over several hours; save the chug-a-lugging for your supermarket bargains. $45 Gaja Ca’Marcanda Promis