Gaja Sperss 2006
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
The Gaja family purchased grapes from Serralunga for their Barolo until 1961, when they decided to produce only from estate-owned vineyards. In 1988, they acquired the vineyard in one of Serralunga's best areas and named it "Sperss," which is Piedmontese for "nostalgia."
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
Wine Enthusiast - "Sperss(the name is inspired by the local word for "nostalgia")is a vineyard located in the Barolo territory of Serralunga. Angelo Gaja adds 6% Barbera to the wine for brightness and freshness but the overall ensemble shows so much more than that. It delivers sophisticated softness and a velvety texture that is backed by exotic spice and loads of wild berry and licorice. Add huge depth and intensity and you have the criteria for a cellar-worthy wine. Will be ready to drink after 2020.Cellar Selection."
The Wine Advocate - "The first thing I noticed about the 2006 Langhe Sperss is the finish, which literally lasts an eternity. It, too, is more overtly structured, powerful and less fruit-forward than the 2007, but its focus and drive are commendable. The wine seems to hover on the palate with an ethereal expression of dark fruit, smoke, licorice, tar and menthol, all of which are backed up with substantial heft and sheer muscle. This is a marvelous effort from Gaja and will appeal most to readers with a preference for sturdy, age-worthy wines. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2041. "
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red with ruby highlights. The nose shows distinctly blacker fruits than the Conteisa, along with medicinal licorice and marzipan notes. Extremely tight and primary in the mouth, suggesting terrific intensity of flavor and brooding power, then explodes with fruit on the long, firmly structured aftertaste. This wine, from compact marne and calcaire soil, has grip of steel and would appear to be built for a glorious evolution in bottle. 95(+?) points. "
Wine Spectator - "A rich, chewy red, with complex flavors of sandalwood, plum, bitter chocolate and roasted vanilla, all backed by a firm structure. Yet there's terrific balance, and this just needs time to integrate. Best from 2014 through 2035."
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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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