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Gaja Barbaresco (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2012

Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Gaja Barbaresco is garnet in color with complex aromas of forest fruits, plums, licorice, mineral, and coffee scents. Long, complex finish with fine, silk-like tannins and good acidity; dense structure, full of super-ripe fruit.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
In 2012, Gaja didn't bottle his single-vineyard crus because they didn't reach his high quality standards, and many of the grapes from these celebrated vineyards finished in this elegant, firmly structured wine. It opens with enticing aromas of perfumed berry, pressed violet and sweet baking spice. On the palate, a backbone of tightly woven but refined tannins support black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, anise and tobacco. It's rather austere and still in its infancy so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2018–2032.
Cellar Selection
JS 94
James Suckling
So perfumed with black cherry, strawberry and flowers. Tar undertones. Brick, too. Some minerals. Stone fruit. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Barbaresco with clarity and finesse. This has some wine from the top crus of Gaja such as Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo in the blend because they were not bottled. Drink or hold.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
New oak adds vanilla and toast to the expressive cherry and berry fruit in this dense red, presenting a layer of tannins that will require time to integrate. Much better with air, staying fresh, focused and long. Best from 2018 through 2028.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Barbaresco shows different DNA from its previous incarnations. Angelo Gaja usually blends fruit from 14 vineyard sites to make this wine. Starting with this vintage, he has opted to reduce that number to eight vineyards instead. The change is subtle, but you can taste it. At this young stage in the wine's life I was unsure of the results. This Barbaresco is more austere, thorny and nervous compared to the super supple and rich vintages of the immediate past. The nose shows dark fruit follow by cola, garden herb and white pepper. The mouthfeel is silky and firm and edgy.
WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2012 Gaja Barbaresco delivers beautifully refined red fruit aromas and flavors. The palate is tight-knit and bright, with a touch of chalk in the end. Drinks pretty well now. (Tasted: May 23, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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Gaja
Gaja, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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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.

Barbaresco

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A wine that most perfectly conveys the spirit and essence of its place, Barbaresco is true reflection of terroir. Its star grape, like that in the neighboring Barolo region, is Nebbiolo. Four townships within the Barbaresco zone can produce Barbaresco: the actual village of Barbaresco, as well as Neive, Treiso and San Rocco Seno d'Elvio.

Broadly speaking there are more similarities in the soils of Barbaresco and Barolo than there are differences. Barbaresco’s soils are approximately of the same two major soil types as Barolo: blue-grey marl of the Tortonion epoch, producing more fragile and aromatic characteristics, and Helvetian white yellow marl, which produces wines with more structure and tannins.

Nebbiolo ripens earlier in Barbaresco than in Barolo, primarily due to the vineyards’ proximity to the Tanaro River and lower elevations. While the wines here are still powerful, Barbaresco expresses a more feminine side of Nebbiolo, often with softer tannins, delicate fruit and an elegant perfume. Typical in a well-made Barbaresco are expressions of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, smoke and spice. These wines need a few years before they reach their peak, the best of which need over a decade or longer. Bottle aging adds more savory characteristics, such as earth, iron and dried fruit.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape and needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

RPT45400300_2012 Item# 301671