Gaja Barbaresco 2008
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
2008 Barbaresco is garnet in color. The nose is almost sensual in its complexity, with aromas of forest fruits, plums, licorice, mineral and coffee scents. The taste is long, with a complex finish with fine, silk-like tannins and good acidity; dense structure, full of super-ripe fruit.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Barbaresco emerges from the glass with sweet red cherries, spices, flowers and licorice. This is an attractive Barbaresco with excellent depth and a firm, tannic spine that is very nicely integrated with the fruit. The 2008 isn't a blockbuster, but it should drink well with minimum cellaring. This is a classic, linear Barbaresco endowed with terrific energy and focus. Right now the 2008 seems to be holding its cards close to the vest. I would not be surprised to see it show even better in a few years' time. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028. "
International Wine Cellar - "Medium red with a hint of amber at the edge. Soil-driven aromas of red fruits, mocha, smoke, underbrush and dried rose. Sweet, plush, seamless and elegant; distinctly suaver than the 2009, with the dried flower element lifting the mid-palate. Lovely nuanced wine, finishing long and serious, with broad, ripe, building tannins and very good grip."
Wine & Spirits - "As black as pitch up front, this wine's substantial extract yields floral scents, earthy porcini and truffle notes and meaty scents of salumi, all emerging out of the wine’s dark density. This is a generous, full-bodied Barbaresco, structured to age."
Wine Spectator - "Chewy in texture, offering flavors of cherry, tar, licorice, coffee and white pepper. Though tannic and dusty, there's richness and sweet fruit for balance in the end. Best from 2014 through 2025. 500 cases imported."
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The story of the Gaja Winery can be traced to a singular, founding purpose: to produce original wines with a sense of place which reflect the tradition and culture of those who made it. This philosophy has inspired five generations of impeccable winemaking. It started over 150 years ago when Giovanni Gaja opened a small restaurant in Barbaresco, making wine to complement the food he served. In 1859, he founded the Gaja Winery, producing some of the first wine from Piedmont to be bottled and sold outside the region. Ever since, the winery has been shaped by each generation’s hand, notably that of Angelo Gaja. Under Angelo's direction, the the native Nebbiolo grape was elevated to world-class esteem.
Today, Angelo Gaja, alongside Guido Rivella, his winemaker since 1970, and his daughter, Gaia, advance their legacy. To fully realize their vision, all Gaja wines are produced exclusively from grapes grown in estate-owned vineyards, including 250 acres in Piedmont's Barbaresco and Barolo districts as well as estates in Pieve Santa Restituta (Montalcino) and Ca’Marcanda (Bolgheri). It is from these storied vineyards, and the earth, weather and vines upon them, that Gaja wines reveal their true heart. View all Gaja Wines
About PiedmontView a map of Piedmont wineries (PEED-mont)
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.