Gaja Conteisa 2011
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
Piedmontese for "quarrel," this wine was named for the historic dispute between the communes of La Morra and Barolo for possession of the Cerequio land. This garnet-colored wine features expressive floral notes and an aroma of red berries, plum, licorice and spice. The sumptuous texture and refined character offer perfectly integrated tannins and an elegant finish.
James Suckling - "This is wonderfully succulent and refined with blueberry, lavender and sandalwood aromas and flavors. Botanical, with some juniper. Medium body with integrated, polished tannins and a long finish. Very pretty. The salted-meat undertones on the palate make it very savory. Drink or hold."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo Conteisa is an irresistible wine with enormous depth, beauty and penetration. It sweeps over the palate in opulent waves with dark fruit, spice, leather and grilled herbs. It also shows a distinct balsam personality with cola and dried violets that give the wine a beautiful sense of aromatic lift and buoyancy. Langhe Conteisa is made with Nebbiolo (and a tiny part Barbera) from the Cerequio vineyard in La Morra. The 2011 vintage is slightly broader than past vintages, but this wine promises a long drinking evolution regardless."
Wine Spectator - "This is reticent today, with more savory and underbrush flavors than cherry notes, which remain buried for now. Reveals a lovely texture and energy, showing potential. Best from 2019 through 2029."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Conteisa is a forward, open-knit wine with good depth and plenty of near-term appeal. At the same time, the move towards a lighter style that has defined the Gaja wines over the last few years is very much in evidence. Cinnamon, sweet red cherries, herbs, mint and wild flowers add nuance. Even with time in the glass, the Conteisa remains succulent nuanced, with less of the opulence that is found in so many other wines. Conteisa emerges from a handful of parcels in La Morra's Cerequio vineyard."
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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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