Tag Archives: Gaia Gaja

Sometimes it is not all about the travel…..

Every year I head to Italy (and most years twice a year) to learn more and better educate myself as an advocate of Italian wine in Australia. It is not always visiting the estates I represent in Italy, sometimes it is visiting and talking to the best about their thoughts on wines and vintages from their region. This last trip to the Langhe, I not only visited the estates I work with, but also caught with the Roberto Conterno from Giacomo Conterno, Giacomo Conterno from Aldo Conterno and Gaia Gaja from Gaja. Doing this is the best way of getting the most out of a region.

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However, sometimes you can learn more from a visit and intense masterclass with than visiting a cellar in that region. Yesterday, twelve special private customers and myself got to spend two hours with Gaia and for the whole two hours, she talked. Talked about what makes Barbaresco and Gaja so special. Tasting the wines were almost a side show to the main event. For me, I learnt so much in that two hour period. More than I have in any structured masterclass.

Gaia has the smarts to not only equal her father, but to take the estate of Gaja into the stratosphere and having known her and watched her develop over the last five to six years, she is as smart and as formidable than anyone I have met in the wine world (through in Soldera and Biondi Santi into that mix) and I can’t wait to see what she does over the next two decades.

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Awesome day and what an amazing person Gaia is…

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The ‘best of barbaresco’ dinner at Scopri Thursday 20th of September now sold out…

On September the 20th of September, I will be hosting at Scopri best of barbaresco’ featuring 7 back vintage wines from Gaja and Bruno Giacosa. It should be an amazing night with the dinner already sold out.

Even though this dinner is sold out, over the course of the next few months, I will be hosting these themed dinners at Scopri which aim to educate and fascinate those who attend on just how great Italian wines can be. The dinners are limited to a maximum of ten people and it should be a blast!

Strikingly profound and built to live for decades, Gaja’s wines display opulence and elegance unmatched elsewhere in Italy. These wines, while harnessing modern technology, have a long-established track record, ensuring they will perform well both in the glass and on the auction block. For any collector considering Italian wines, Gaja should be the first name on the list.

Bruno Giacosa, a man of few words but eloquent talent, practices an extremely simple philosophy based on the respect of traditions both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Giacosa brings out a richness of flavor and an intensity of character to produce wines of meditation. In addition to Bartolo Mascarello, and Giacomo Conterno, the Giacosa estate is the most respected producer of traditional style Barolo.

Where:

Scopri Food and Wine

191 Nicholson St

Carlton VIC 3053

Phone: 93478252

When:

Thursday September 20th at 7.30pm

Cost: $300 per head (this dinner sold out)

The wines featured on the night:

Angelo Gaja Barbaresco 1995

1995 tends to be a good rather than great vintage in Piedmont, but Gaja’s sensational 1995s are among the stars of the vintage. This wine possesses extremely saturated dark ruby/purple colors, almost atypical for Nebbiolo. The 1995 Barbaresco offers a superb nose of licorice, cherry fruit, strawberries, flowers, and toasty scents. Ripe, dense, and lush, with an alluring, sexy personality, it is one of the more forward, generic Barbarescos Gaja has produced. Anticipated maturity: now-2011. Importer: Vinifera Imports, Ronkonkoma, NY; tel. (516) 467-5907 90 points Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #124 Aug 1999

Angelo Gaja Barbaresco 1996

The 1996 Barbaresco exhibits a dense ruby color as well as a forward nose of cherry liqueur, earth, truffle, mineral, and spicy scents. Rich, full-bodied, and seductive, with its moderate tannin largely concealed by the wine’s wealth of fruit and extract, this gorgeously pure offering gets my nod as the finest Barbaresco produced by Gaja since 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2016. As I reported in issue #124 (8-27-99), 1996 is a spectacular vintage for Angelo Gaja. 90 points Robert Parker Wine Advocate #130 Aug 2000

Angelo Gaja Barbaresco 1997

Gaja’s 1997 Barbaresco is undoubtedly the finest he has yet made. An exquisite effort, it boasts a dense ruby/purple color in addition to an extraordinary nose of black cherry liqueur, smoke, licorice, mineral, and floral aromas. The wine is full-bodied, opulent, and loaded with fruit. Despite its precocious nature, there is abundant tannin, and thus 3-4 years of cellaring is required. It should age effortlessly for 25 years.

A genius for sure, Angelo Gaja can not be faulted for what he puts in the bottle. This work of art is worth every cent it will fetch. Robert Parker 94 points, Wine Advocate #135 Jun 2001

Bruno Giacosa Santo Stefano Barbaresco Riserva 1988

The 1988 is the most advanced of these Santo Stefanos.  It is fully mature, with notes of leather, tobacco, beef bouillon, prunes and spices on a medium-bodied frame with soft tannins and excellent length.   There appears to be little upside in cellaring bottles any further and I would choose to drink my remaining bottles within the next few years.  Antonio Galloni In the Cellar Apr 2007

Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco 1989

Bruno Giacosa’s wines are well represented in my personal cellar, which was the source for the vast majority of these bottles. I have had the good fortune to taste all of Giacosa’s 1989s and 1990s from multiple sources over the last year, and therefore can report that these notes are representative of what readers can expect from well-stored bottles. I consider 1989 and 1990 – along with 1978, 1982, 1996, 2001, 2004 and 2007 – to be among Giacosa’s finest vintages. Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate #187 Feb 2010

Bruno Giacosa Gallina di Neive Barbaresco 1990

The 1990 Barbareso Gallina is simply awesome. The wine boasts a seamless core of rich red fruits in a soft, generous style. This opulent Barbaresco possesses impeccable balance and tons of class. Floral notes intermingled with bright red fruits provide lift on the finish, adding lovely balance to the dense fruit. This is the most approachable of Giacosa’s 1990s but has plenty of stuffing to last another twenty years. The 1978 is still going strong. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025. 94 points Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate #187 Feb 2010

Bruno Giacosa Falleto Barbaresco 1997 (imposter… 🙂

Giacosa’s 1997 Barolo Falletto de Serralunga is an exquisite Barolo offering superb notes of tar, earth, truffles, licorice, minerals, and cherry/raspberry fruit. There is plenty of acidity as well as high tannin, but concentrated, chewy flavors. The wine is tight, dense, impressive, and surprisingly structured for a 1997. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2025. 93 points Robert Parker Wine Advocate #135 Jun 2001

An amazing tour and tasting with Gaia Gaja in Barbaresco…

Gaia Gaja

For me, the Gaja family are one of the reasons why Barbaresco is now considered to be one of the greatest wines’ of the world. This has not always been the case, as if not for the hard (and sometimes controversial) work of Angelo Gaja, Barbaresco might not have such a high standing in our world of wine. This has nothing to do with quality, but more to do with the acceptance of Barbaresco being the equal to that of Barolo.

Angelo Gaja has not only been able to lift the profile of Barbaresco and the wines of Gaja to be placed amongst the finest of Italy, but their wines are now accepted to be the equal of the most noble wines of the world.

The hard work of Angelo Gaja has done promoting the wines of Gaja around the world is now undertaken by his daughter, Gaia Gaja. Angelo must be proud to have such a smart and passionate daughter by his side telling the story of Gaja around the world. I first met Gaia in Melbourne a few years ago and it was an honour to have Gaia return the favour on an amazing tour of her families vineyards and cellars in Barbaresco. As much as I know and understand Gaja, I feel a deeper understanding and greater respect for the reasons why this family has been so influential and successful.

In the cellars of Gaja

The cellars of Gaja are amazing and seemingly take up half the town of Barbaresco. The cellar and winery are spotless and nothing is left to chance, different size barrels (from large to small) are situated on different levels of the cellar.

Gaja Barrel Room

On every corner and floor of the cellars, a different piece of art captivates your eye. In some wineries it might seem out of place, but here in the heart of Barbaresco it serves of a reminder of the beauty of Barbaresco and its’ wines.

Single vineyard cru of Gaja

It was a fascinating experience to visit each of the single vineyard cru’s with Gaia and listen to her explain the differences between each site. Different row orientation, soil and aspect all contribute to the differences between the three single vineyard cru’s.

The tasting room of Gaja

After a tour of the cellar and vineyards, we went upstairs to the tasting room to try a number of different wines under the Gaja label. As we walked through the corridor, Gaia’s mum was hosting an international tasting for a bunch of buyers. Little things like this illustrate to me why the family has been so successful: they all work hard in all parts of their business.

We tried through a number of different wines spanning over two decades. For me, the three wines that stood out (and I could have easily chosen any of the ten wines as they were all of the highest quality) were the 2008 ‘Estate’ Barbaresco,  1999 Sperss and 1989 Darmagi. Below are my tasting notes on the three wines:

2008 ‘Estate’ Barbaresco: perfume, tightly wound, red berries, rhubarb, quite savoury, ripe tannins and balanced. So youthful with many many years in front of it.

1999 Sperss: Amazing, so perfect, will hold for many years. Sweet graphite, earth, minerals, so youthful and expressive.

1989 Darmagi: Served blind by Gaia, I picked it as 1999. Well a decade off, not bad! Hint of capsicum and ginger, very Cabernet palate but with an expression of the Langhe. Amazing wine, so perfect.

The famous logo of Gaja

It was a perfect way to finish an amazing few hours with Gaia Gaja in the cellars of Gaja in Barbaresco. Grazie Mille Gaia!!