We are truly excited to offer the latest Gaja releases, starting a new chapter for this famous Italian family. Gaia Gaja is now in charge and the small addition of Barbera in the Costa Russi…

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We are truly excited to offer the latest Gaja releases, starting a new chapter for this famous Italian family. Gaia Gaja is now in charge and the small addition of Barbera in the Costa Russi and San Lorenzo has been dropped for the first time since the 1990s. This means that these famous single vineyards are all classified as Barbaresco DOP (same as DOCG) in 2013. See more from Decanter here.

Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate also notes a ‘sharper tannic delineation in the wines and a more focused quality to the fruit… less fleshy, chewy or succulent compared to past vintages’. Gaja has never been accused of being modern in style, but from 2013 there seems to be a more traditional approach. All from an incredible 5-star Barbaresco vintage.

‘The Barbaresco and Costa Russi are super-classic, with bright Nebbiolo color and very little, if any, French oak influence. The Sorì Tildìn and Sorì San Lorenzo, while more restrained than in the past, are a bit darker and show subtle but noticeable French oak inflections. Either way, the 2013 Barbarescos are fabulous.’ – Antonio Galloni

‘The 2013 single vineyard Barbarescos show a traditional depth of fruit and edge of tannins that really speak of their unique terroirs and unique sense of being. They are some of the best wines from Piedmont that I tasted this year.’ – James Suckling

The Barolo Dagromis and Sito Moresco are excellent value propositions and should not be overlooked. They offer Gaja-precision and style for a fraction of the Barbaresco price.

The Single vineyards are of course very limited.

Please send your order to Roland@winecellar.co.za or shop for Gaja wines online here.

– Roland Peens

Tasting notes:

Gaja, Barbaresco Costa Russi 2013
The 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a real head-turner. Crystalline and utterly vivid in its expression of Nebbiolo, the 2013 is all class. Stylistically, the Costa Russi is closest to the straight Barbaresco, but it has a little more mid-palate sweetness and density. Bright floral and minty notes add lift on the chiseled, expressive finish. The Costa Russi is the star of the show this year, considering it is the least pedigreed of Gaja’s three single-vineyard sites. The 2013 has been stunningly beautiful on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. Antonio Galloni, 98 points

Medium ruby color. The class, strength and finesse in this wine is ever present with berry, dark chocolate and walnut character. Full-bodied, dense and chewy. Very fresh. Chocolate, mango, ripe strawberry and bright finish. Needs four or five years to soften. Classic tannins. Better in 2021. – James Suckling, 98 points

The 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a celebration of vineyard site. In the past, this wine was blended with 5% Barbera, but this is no longer the case starting now. For the first time in recent memory, we are tasting a pure expression of Nebbiolo as harvested from the rows of vines in the Costa Russi cru, located directly below Sorì Tildìn at the base of the Barbaresco village. The vines are over 65-years-old and are planted in limestone clay and marl soils. Costa Russi is known for delicate, light-bodied wines that exhibit floral aromas of rose hip and lavender, as well as darker fruit tones at the back. Those qualities are beautifully evident in this vintage. The mouthfeel is characterized by a firm sense of tannic structure that is common to all of Gaja’s new releases in the 2013 vintage. – Monica Larner, 95 points

Gaja, Barbaresco Sori Tildin 2013
As always, the Sorì Tildìn is a wine of nuance and delineation above all else. Beautifully sculpted and precise, the 2013 offers up a compelling interplay of dark red cherry, mint, lavender and licorice. A subtle accent of French oak adds nuance without detracting from the wine’s translucent personality and overall energy. At the same time, it is hard for the mind not to wander a bit and imagine what the wine might have tasted like had it been made more along the lines of the Costa Russi, especially given this site’s inherent finesse. But back to the present. The 2013 Sorì Tildìn is another drop-dead gorgeous beauty from Gaja. Antonio Galloni, 97 points

The perfumes are fabulous here with strawberry, walnut and porcini mushrooms. Mountain herbs. Full body, light and integrated tannins and long finish. Refined and beautiful. Hard not to drink now. – James Suckling, 97 points

The 2013 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn sees fruit sourced from a vineyard site located directly above Costa Russi. This fruit is harvested at 260 meters above sea level, while the latter is located 30 meters lower in elevation. The age of the vines is slightly younger as well, with 45-years-old being the average age. That subtle change in vineyard location does much to shape the generosity and bounty of the bouquet. There is a distinct softness and roundness here that comes forth as dark cherry, pressed blackberry and plum, with tobacco and leather in a supporting role. This Barbaresco stands on solid feet with tight textural richness that comes exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape. Breaking with past tradition, Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn is made with a single variety. – Monica Larner, 95+ Points

Gaja, Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 2013
Gaja’s Sorì San Lorenzo, arguably the most iconic of all the wines, is superb. The 2013 is dark, virile and imposing, with a more classically leaning expression of power than in the recent past, not to mention tons of raw intensity. A host of graphite, savory herb, menthol, licorice, lavender, smoke and dark-fleshed fruits meld into the huge, tannic finish. There is a touch of French oak, but the virile personality of this site marries very naturally with the cooperage. – Antonio Galloni, 98 points

Majestic aromas of crush berry, meat, orange peel. Full body, very tannic yet ripe tannins with exquisite fruit. Amazing depth and density. They said they macerated a little more than normal because the fruit was perfect. A classic nebbiolo that reminds me of the great 1996. Really cool. About 30% less production. Don’t touch for five to 10 years. A celebratory wine for Gaja’s return to the Barbaresco appellation. – James Suckling, 100 points

Congratulations to the Gaja family and their 2013 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo. This is a sheer and powerful expression of Nebbiolo that boasts a very firm and precise textural quality. The wine is 100% Nebbiolo, as blended Barbera is no longer part of the Sorì San Lorenzo DNA. The tannins are sharply delineated with a crunchy snap that you feel on the palate. This should definitely serve to keep the wine firmly rooted and committed to a slow aging trajectory. That structural firmness is the defining characteristic of this wine, and that unique identity is even more evident now that this wine is officially classified as Barbaresco. – Monica Larner, 97 points

Gaja, Barbaresco 2013
The 2013 Barbaresco is fabulous. In fact, this is one of the best Barbarescos I have tasted at Gaja in many years. Vibrant, perfumed and beautifully sculpted in the glass, the 2013 possesses tons of understated intensity. Sweet red cherry, mint, white pepper and anise are all lifted in the glass. The 2013 is an almost shockingly classic Barbaresco from Gaja. The translucent color, vibrant Nebbiolo fruit and austere but noble tannins represent a move towards a much more traditional style. For readers who can find it, the 2013 is simply a must-have wine. – Antonio Galloni, 96 points

Medium ruby color. Extremely aromatic with rose petal, strawberry and stone character. Medium to full body. Ultra-fine tannins. Hints of walnut. Super long finish. A wine to enjoy now but will reward you even more in four or five years and onwards. – James Suckling, 94 points

The Gaja 2013 Barbaresco is a toned and elegant wine with a very impactful and focused bouquet. Dark fruit nuances segue seamlessly to spice, grilled herb, tar, licorice and leather. In keeping with that trademark Gaja touch, those transitions feel polished, long and smooth. The pleasure factor is high on this wine, thanks to the robust concentration it offers and the beautifully velvety nature of its texture. Gaia Gaja tells me that she and her family are especially happy with the quality of tannins achieved in this vintage. They do indeed show a noticeable level of succulence and proverbial crunch. – Monica Larner, 93 points

Gaja, Barolo Dagromis 2012
Dagromis is Gaja’s DOCG Barolo, a wine crafted with the estate’s passion and attention to detail from two of the great Barolo villages; combining the grace of La Morra with the concentration and structure of Serralunga. By blending these two historic terroirs, Gaja crafts a Barolo in the traditional way, using each vineyard’s advantages to make a wine of balance and power that reflects the best of this classic vintage.

Gaja, Sito Moresco 2014
Sito Moresco is named after the Giovannini Moresco family, who farmed the 25-acre estate in Barbaresco before its purchase by the Gaja family. It literally means ‘the Moresco site’ – a nod to the people and traditions that preceded it. Gaja created this cuvée of Nebbiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon to deliver greater approachability in the wine’s youth. The powerful tannic structure of the Nebbiolo is balanced by the supple roundness of the Merlot and the elegance of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, this wine is made from vineyards located in the villages of Barbaresco and Treiso (both lying in the Barbaresco appellation), with additional fruit from Serralunga d’Alba (in the Barolo appellation). Pheasants are featured on Sito Moresco’s label to commemorate the beautiful birds that inhabit the forests adjacent to Gaja’s vineyards

 

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