Gaja Sperss 2003
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
Aroma: The nose shows a dark, pure and very focused fruit with classic hints of tar, licorice and a touch of truffles.
Taste: Sperss displays the austere character typical of Serralunga terroir: deep structure and lots of ripe tannins. Dense, massive yet seamless, this beautifully integrated wine possesses low acidity as well as a terrific finish.
Wine Spectator - "The nose of this wine is so precise, with perfume, rose, blackberry and raspberry aromas, and the full-bodied palate builds and builds and then overflows with ripe fruit and layers of rich, ripe, velvety tannins. This has amazing opulence, yet it’s profound and structured. A fabulous wine. The best Sperss ever made. Best after 2013."
The Wine Advocate - "Gaja’s 2003 Sperss is made from vineyards in Serralunga and offers better balance than the Conteisa. It is plump and juicy, with a generous core of dark fruit, tar and menthol supported by a massive, imposing structure. The wine offers notable length although there is a suggestion of heat on the finish. This powerful, brooding Sperss will require patience, even if today it gives the illusion of being a relatively accessible vintage for this wine. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2023. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep red. Deep, brooding aromas of plum, menthol, truffle, marzipan and chestnut; very Serralunga. Fat, sweet and full but youthfully inexpressive; impressively thick but monolithic at present. This expands dramatically toward the back, finishing with huge, broad tannins. A very tight wine in need of extended aging: I can see this being quite long-lived, in the way of the most successful 2003 red Burgundies. "
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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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