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Gaja Barbaresco 2013

Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
  • V96
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • WS93
14% ABV
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4.5 3 Ratings
14% 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

All Vintages
V 96
Vinous
The 2013 Barbaresco is fabulous. In fact, this is one of the best Barbarescos I have tasted at Gaja in many years. Vibrant, perfumed and beautifully sculpted in the glass, the 2013 possesses tons of understated intensity. Sweet red cherry, mint, white pepper and anise are all lifted in the glass. The 2013 is an almost shockingly classic Barbaresco from Gaja. The translucent color, vibrant Nebbiolo fruit and austere but noble tannins represent a move towards a much more traditional style. For readers who can find it, the 2013 is simply a must-have wine.
JS 94
James Suckling
Medium ruby color. Extremely aromatic with rose petal, strawberry and stone character. Medium to full body. Ultra-fine tannins. Hints of walnut. Super long finish. A wine that is a joy to drink now but will reward you even more in four or five years and onwards.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Gaja 2013 Barbaresco is a toned and elegant wine with a very impactful and focused bouquet. Dark fruit nuances segue seamlessly to spice, grilled herb, tar, licorice and leather. In keeping with that trademark Gaja touch, those transitions feel polished, long and smooth. The pleasure factor is high on this wine, thanks to the robust concentration it offers and the beautifully velvety nature of its texture. Gaia Gaja tells me that she and her family are especially happy with the quality of tannins achieved in this vintage. They do indeed show a noticeable level of succulence and proverbial crunch.
Rating: 93+
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Cherry, strawberry, cinnamon, peony and chalky flavors mingle in this aromatic red. Lean and firm, with a meaty element, this has all the elements in place. Stretches out pleasantly, but needs time to relax. Best from 2019 through 2032.
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Gaja
Gaja, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Image of winery
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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Often compared to Barolo but worthy of its own separate conversation, Barbaresco is home to the softer side of Nebbiolo. For a long time, consumers viewed Barbaresco as a more affordable alternative to the wines of neighboring Barolo, but advances in viticulture and resulting improvements in quality have allowed this region to build a superior reputation all its own. With a warmer, drier, and milder climate and compact, fertile soils, the wines here are powerful yet soft, fruit-forward, and elegantly perfumed. Barbaresco needs some time to mature before being ready to drink, but less so than Barolo, and the typical bottle is best enjoyed between five and 15 years from the harvest.

Barbaresco wines are highly aromatic and complexly flavored, with notes of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, and spice. Bottle aging can add more savory characteristics of iron and tar, as well as dried orange peel. The modern style of Barbaresco relies on new oak to add flavor and soften the texture for early drinking, while more traditional versions aim to highlight the purity of the Nebbiolo grape by using large, neutral oak vessels.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

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 produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

SOU442915_2013 Item# 164676