Gaja Sperss 2009
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
Ruby red in color. The nose shows a dark, pure and very focused fruit with classic hints of tar, licorice and a touch of truffles. 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.
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep red. Knockout, almost liqueur-like nose combines plum, redcurrant, red licorice, marzipan, menthol, tobacco and loamy earth. Large-scaled, broad and deep, with its powerful sweetness leavened by strong minerality and a distinct medicinal reserve. As concentrated as a solid. The slowly building finish shows inexorable length, saturating the palate with salty minerality. I'd bet on this one for the long haul."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Sperss sees fruit sourced from Serralunga d’Alba and those telltale signs of the territory are definitely on full display. The power, added structure and thicker density of the wine speak to this corner of the Barolo denomination. Bold cherry and spice are rounded off by leather, tobacco and a touch of toasted Alba hazelnut. The finish is soft and caressing even at this young stage, yet the wine still needs more time to evolve."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "A much different expression of Nebbiolo comes through in the 2009 Sperss. The firm, structured tannins of Serralunga frame the fruit in this powerful wine. The 2009 is an unusually sunny, radiant Sperss with bright, floral aromatics and a distinctly red-toned expression of fruit. The overall impression is of elegance and femininity, while the more typical, virile side of this vineyard seems to be a bit less in evidence. Sperss is such a magical site. The vineyard excels in many vintages, but is particularly advantaged in warm years. Over the last few months, the more typical Sperss notes have begun to take shape as the differences between Conteisa and Sperss - attenuated when the wines were yonger - become much more marked."
Wine Spectator - "This rich, velvety red boasts complex black cherry, plum and spice aromas and flavors. The tannins are dense and ripe, adding refinement and lift on the lingering, minerally aftertaste. This tightly wound version needs some time to unwind. "
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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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