Aged for a year in large french oak cask and a year in smaller barriques, a third new . Less heady and immediate than the Costa Russi and less easy going initially but this should end up being an even more interesting wine. Initially muscular and robust, perhaps even a little austere, in a good way, gradually unveiling tight knit flavours of bramble, sloe, fresh black currant and morello cherries, strong bitter sweet cocoa and deep cooling mineral elements too. Despite its backbone there is nonetheless evidence of the smooth, appealing character of the vintage, finishing more elegant than it starts. Stunning.
Angelo Gaja is Barbaresco's most revered winemaker, and our last Italian release of the calendar year. He is both Barbaresco's flag-bearer and a tireless individualist. Unquestionably a breakaway renegade, yet he is now seen as the embodiment and essence of what is meant as top-class Barbaresco. It was back in 1967 that Gaja first bottled his single Cru nebbiolo San Lorenzo, followed by Sori Tilden and Costa Russi in the '70s, instigating something of a new direction for Barbaresco’s wine making. Flying in the face of the D.O.C.G. rules did nothing to dampen the spirits of his followers, and it didn’t take long for his relentlessly expressive wines to gain international repute among wine collectors. Today his wines rank amongst the very finest the world has to offer, with global devotees and huge critical acclaim. Over the years Angelo has travelled far and wide through the wine growing regions of the world, always returning to his beloved Barbaresco a little wiser and with fresh ideas. He is the ultimate craftsman, producing Cru wines in tiny quantities that bear witness on an individual level to the exact terroirs they come from. Small barrique maturation lends an elegance that for years was seen as innovative, yet is now considered the touchstone. Vibrancy, incredible concentration and breeding characterise these wines.
Piedmont sitting at the foot of the mountains is justly regarded as one of, if not the finest wine growing region in Italy. The noblest grape found in the region in undoubtedly Nebbiolo, with the DOCG's of Barolo and Barbaresco at the forefront of production. Barbera and Dolcetto come in second and third, and being earlier ripening are often found located on those sides of the hills that receive less sunshine. The wines from Piedmont are intrinsically food friendly wines, a fact understandable given the culinary strength of the area.