Gaja’s Super Tuscan Neighbor
This 2011 “Arnione” Bolgheri Superiore hails from an estate neighboring Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Gaja’s Ca’ Marcanda and is far less than half the price of its storied neighbors. With 93 points from Wine Spectator, this “elegant and intense” Super Tuscan Superiore is a hidden gem, with production at a fraction of the tens of thousands cranked out by its neighbors Gaja and Antinori each year. Compared to $90 for Gaja right next door, only $39.99 per bottle — this is a no-brainer buy for lovers of brilliant Super Tuscans.
In the village of Bolgheri in the countryside of the Tyrrhenian coast, the Knaufs struck viticultural gold—gravelly, well-drained soil meters deep, akin to the terroir-defining gravel croupes of Bordeaux. The family planted 49 acres of world-class Bordeaux varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, sparing no expense. Adjacent to Gaja’s Ca’Marcanda and bordered by the Fosso di Bolgheri waterway, the terroir is perfectly suited for top quality red wine production. Cool coastal breezes make this microclimate even more ideal, allowing the grapes to ripen to perfection while maintaining juicy acidity under the warm Tuscan sun.
While the top estates of Bolgheri inflated their prices as the accolades from Parker and Wine Spectator rolled in, the Knaufs continued to offer world-class wine at unbelievable prices. “Arnione” offers top quality without breaking the bank or sacrificing density, lushness and definition—not to mention it’s drinking beautifully right now.