About This Wine
The centerpiece of the portfolio, GAJA Barbaresco is a testament to the Gaja family's historic commitment to the appellation and its belief that Barbaresco stands proudly with the great growing regions of the world. The GAJA winery stopped sourcing fruit from other growers in 1961 in order to ensure the utmost quality in its wines. In all, GAJA Barbaresco is produced using grapes grown in 14 vineyards in the village of Barbaresco. In 2012, the single-vineyards were not bottled, as they were not quite up to GAJA standards. The flagship Barbaresco benfitted from this situation as it received grapes from the Sori San Lorenzo, Sori Tildin and Costa Russi vineyards together with grapes from 5 out of 14 vineyards usually involved in producing this wine. COLOR: Garnet AROMA: The nose is almost sensual in its complexity, with aromas of forest fruits, plums, licorice, mineral and coffee scents. TASTE: Long, complex finish with fine, silk-like tannins and good acidity; dense structure, full of super-ripe fruit.
Wines of Piedmont
In the North-Western corner of Italy, with a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, Piedmont is a great place to visit for wine tourism. It is also home to some of the most sought-after wines in the country.
Nebbiolo is the region’s most prestigious grape variety, a red variety not seen much in Australia. Wines made from this grape are powerful with remarkably high levels of tannins but a balancing acidity. The Piedmont region offers the grapes with a reliable autumn fog that provides a cooling effect which is particularly beneficial to the growth of Nebbiolo. This pre-harvest fog (“nebbia” in Italian) is actually where the grape’s name comes from. The fog is vital in that it prolongs the time spent on the vine and allows the grapes to achieve full ripeness.
The most famous examples of Nebbiolo come from the appellations (subregions) of Barolo and Barbaresco, known for their ability to age well, firm tannins and distinct smell of tar and roses. Barolo is a big tannic expression of Nebbiolo, while Barbaresco only about 15km away makes a more elegant style. Barolo wines are generally the more expensive of the two and are known to cellar for decades.
By volume however, Barbera is the most planted red grape in Piedmont. This grape makes a juicy, low tannin but high acidity easy-going red. Perhaps somewhat like a lighter style Shiraz.
While there are quite a few white varieties planted in the region, the most notable is Moscato d’Asti, made in a sparkling style in the Asti subregion.
Wine Spectator – New oak adds vanilla and toast to the expressive cherry and berry fruit in this dense red, presenting a layer of tannins that will require time to integrate. Much better with air, staying fresh, focused and long. Best from 2018 through 2028.
Wine Enthusiast – In 2012, Gaja didn't bottle his single-vineyard crus because they didn't reach his high quality standards, and many of the grapes from these celebrated vineyards finished in this elegant, firmly structured wine. It opens with enticing aromas of perfumed berry, pressed violet and sweet baking spice. On the palate, a backbone of tightly woven but refined tannins support black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, anise and tobacco. It's rather austere and still in its infancy so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2018-2032.
Robert Parker/Wine Advocate – The 2012 Barbaresco shows different DNA from its previous incarnations. Angelo Gaja usually blends fruit from 14 vineyard sites to make this wine. Starting with this vintage, he has opted to reduce that number to eight vineyards instead. The change is subtle, but you can taste it. At this young stage in the wine's life I was unsure of the results. This Barbaresco is more austere, thorny and nervous compared to the super supple and rich vintages of the immediate past. The nose shows dark fruit follow by cola, garden herb and white pepper. The mouthfeel is silky and firm and edgy.