No Eclipse in 2011
Our first official glimpse of the latest Piedmont vintage usually comes through the lens of Angelo Gaja and so it is with this week’s release of his 2011 Barbaresco and single vineyard wines. Our own initial impression of the vintage came whilst tasting the 2010s at the beginning of this year: We did not taste extensively, that will come at the beginning of 2015 with the launch of our 2011 offer, however we were surprised at the amount of 2011 wines our growers were prepared to show us, side by side the much-lauded 2010 vintage. The 2011s proved themselves to be incredibly seductive, floral and tactile without that sense of decadence warmer years such as 2000 and 2003 had upon release. Far from being inhibited, they stood up very proudly to the completely different, more muscular 2010s. We left Piedmont early this year very excited about the quality of the vintage but tentatively wondering whether this could be a year which in terms of the market perception is in danger of being eclipsed by its much more renowned predecessor.
Well, Gaja has now publicly pronounced his verdict on the vintage, he gives it a very clear thumbs up, and indeed so do many of the region’s growers, but most interesting of all is that wine commentators, too, have also started to put their weight behind the vintage.
“After all the hype with the 2010 vintage in Barolo and Barbaresco, the Gaja family, like others in Italy's Langhe region, seems just as keen about the quality of the 2011 vintage, particularly for their wines from the region of Barbaresco. In fact, their 2011 Barbaresco blend that is their most current release is clearly better quality than the same wine in 2010.” James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com
"The 2011 will probably be considered a vintage with more body and richness than the 2010" Angelo Gaja in Decanter September's 2014 issue
“Many in Barbaresco believe that the 2011s are superior to the famous 2010s… the wines clearly reflect the vintage: fleshy and almost opulent, with highish alcohol levels but sound acidity. In this respect the best of the just-released 2011 Barbarescos magically combine creamy textures and generally refined tannins…” Decanter September's 2014 issue