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Gaja Barbaresco 2013

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

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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
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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 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 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.

RPT45220413_2013 Item# 164676