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Gaja Costa Russi 1989

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
  • WS97
0% ABV
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • JS94
  • JS98
  • V98
  • RP95
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • WE93
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Winemaker Notes

Drinking wonderfully at the moment, but will improve further with age. Aromas of berry, mint, roses and violets follow through to a medium-to full-bodied palate, with round, velvety tannins and a ripe fruit aftertaste. Drink now through 2010.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 97
Wine Spectator
The 1989 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a thrilling wine that literally takes my breath away and that comes from someone who usually isn't the hugest fan of this particular wine. In 1989 the Costa Russi offers a touch more roundness and spiciness than the Barbaresco. The fruit here is super-luxurious and silky, while the tannins possess remarkable polish. The finish remains firm and full of life. Even 20 years ago Angelo Gaja and Guido Rivella were making wines most producers would kill for today. Simply put this is a magical bottle; I only wish I owned it. Wow. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030.
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Gaja
Gaja, , Italy
Gaja
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.

Chassagne-Montrachet

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A Côte de Beaune village most famous for its beautifully textured and powerful whites, Chassagne-Montrachet reaches farthest south in the Côte d’Or, save for the village of Santenay. It has three Grand Cru vineyards, Le Montrachet, Bâtard-Montrachet and Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet. Le Montrachet and Bâtard-Montrachet overlap with and are (confusingly) shared with the village of Puligny-Montrachet. But Chassagne-Montrachet bears sole ownership of the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru.

The beauty doesn’t stop there as the village has a great many outstanding Premier Cru wines and village level wines. Most famous Premier Cru vineyards include Les Chenevottes, Clos de la Maltroie, En Cailleret and Les Ruchottes. Village level wines offer many lovely examples of what the village has to offer, but at more approachable price points and perhaps less demand of waiting.

The best sites in Chassagne-Montrachet soils are complex in sedimentary rock limestone and have less marl. Whites, which are by law composed of 100% Chardonnay (as in all classified white Burgundy from Côte d’Or), have steely power, bright and concentrated lemon, stone fruit and sometimes tropical fruit characteristics and a marked texture ranging from quite plush to an attractive, tactile and mineral feel.

There is some fine Pinot noir produced from the village. These wines tend to be high-toned and earthy with wild herb aromas and suave tannins.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

LEM1678952 Item# 8638

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