The Tuscan wine estate of Antico Podere Gagliole in Castellina is more than a break from the world of high finance and law for Thomas Bär, a Swiss man whose family owns the respected bank of Julius Bär and who is a partner in the Bär&Karrer law firm in Zurich. It represents the man’s dream to make one of the top super Tuscan reds in the world.
The recently released reds from the estate, 1996 and 1995 Gagliole, are outstanding wines. Made predominantly of Sangiovese, with some Cabernet Sauvignon, they are strong and wellstructured. The ‘95 (92 points) is particularly impressive, with wonderful aromas of roses and plums and a racy palate of fresh fruit and fine tannins. The ‘96 (90 points) is equally fine but slightly less flashy in style.
Production is relatively small – about 1’300 cases of each wine a year. The estate, which can trace its beginnings back more than 1’000 years ago, covers about 57 acres, with about nine of them planted to vines. Bär has no plans to enlarge the vineyard because he whises his wine to be as exclusive as possible. When discussing the future of his winemaking, he likes to draw paralleles to such wines as Tuscany’s Solaia and Pomerol’s Le Pin. With such high hopes and ample resources, this is definitely an estate to watch.