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Gaja Costa Russi 2001

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
  • WS95
  • WE95
  • RP94
0% ABV
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • JS94
  • JS98
  • V98
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  • RP94
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  • WE93
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  • WE95
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  • RP94
  • WS92
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  • RP94
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  • RP98
  • WS97
  • WE95
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WS96
  • RP96
  • WS97
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • RP91
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

Aged 12 months in barriques; plus an additional year in large oak casks. Of all Gaja single-vineyard wines, Costa Russi often shows the most captivating and refined nose. Elegance and crystal purity characterize this extremely complex and densely woven wine with an aging potential of decades.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 95
Wine Spectator
A silky, beautiful wine, with plum and berry character. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a caressing texture. Seductive, with layers of fruit and tannins. Best after 2009. 890 cases made.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Darker, richer and earthier than Gaja’s Barbaresco, picking up notes of coffee, vanilla and toast as well. Yet on the palate there’s wonderfully bright cherry-raspberry fruit and masses of lush, velvety tannins that will give this wine plenty of life in the cellar. Drink 2012–2030.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2001 Costa Russi is a masculine wine, showing a rich color along with a dark nose of cherries in liqueur, tar and minerals. It is round and soft on the palate, offering generous amounts of dark fruit and toasted oak flavors with much persistence. Costa Russi is typically the most accessible of the single-vineyard wines, and the 2001 is true to type. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2021.
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Gaja
Gaja, Piedmont, Italy
2001 Costa Russi
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.

Piedmont

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A prestigious and distinctive region for red wines in northwestern Italy, Piedmont is responsible for some of the country’s longest-lived, most sought-after wines. Set in the foothills of the Alps, the terrain consists of visually stunning rolling hills. The most prized vines are planted at higher altitudes on the warmer, south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. The climate is continental, with cold winters and hot, muggy summers. Despite the rain shadow effect of the Alps, precipitation takes place year-round, and a cooling fog provides moisture that aids in the ripening of grapes.

Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin, and juicy red fruit. However, the most prized variety is Nebbiolo, named for the region’s omnipresent fog (“nebbia” in Italian). This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins, and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure, and the best examples, when made in a traditional style, require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. More affordable and imminently drinkable Nebbiolo can be found in the larger Langhe area as well as Gattinara, Ghemme, and other less-prominent appellations. Dolcetto is Piedmont’s other important red grape, ready to drink as quickly as Barbera but with lower acidity and higher tannin. White wines are less important here but can be high in quality, and include Arneis, Gavi, and sweet, fizzy wines made from Muscat.

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.

SWS117819_2001 Item# 84929

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