Gaja Costa Russi 2008
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
Dark ruby/purple in color. This wine has a captivating and refined nose with well-integrated aromas of blackberries, violets and roasted coffee beans. Elegance and crystal purity characterize this extremely complex and densely woven wine with an aging potential of decades.
Blend: 95% Nebbiolo, 5% Barbera
The Wine Advocate - "he 2008 Costa Russi is absolutely gorgeous. Sweet dark cherries, tar, licorice and new leather are some of the aromas and flavors that take shape in the glass. The 2008 is a firm Costa Russi, with less of the seductiveness of most years, but equally fine balance. Ideally it needs a few more years in bottle, but it is striking. The finish shows terrific intensity. The typical juiciness of the site is framed by the firm tannins of the year. Everything that makes Costa Russi such an engaging wine is here, but in a slightly smaller-scaled package than in the very finest years. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2028."
International Wine Cellar - "Good medium red. Reticent nose hints at strawberry, raspberry, mocha and smoke. Fresh and nicely delineated, with silky-sweet flavors of dark raspberry and spices. Intensely flavored wine with a captivating sugar/acid balance. Finishes with firm, building tannins and lovely juicy cut. I find this more vibrant and classic than the 2009.
James Suckling - "Blackberries and flowers on the nose follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a round texture. All in finesse and length. Best after 2013. "
Wine Spectator - "Deep and rich, this red is fresh and vibrant, displaying mint, cherry, licorice and spice flavors. Framed in oak, both spice and tannins, with a taut structure and fine length. Best from 2014 through 2025. 150 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.