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Gaja Sori San Lorenzo 2013

Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The Gaja Sori San Lorenzo displays deep red color with highly concentrated aromas of currant and black cherry fruit with a hint of coffee, in addition to aromas of fine herbs, minerals and exotic spices. Almost always the most powerful and austere of Gaja's five single-vineyard wines, requiring a longer time to fully develop. A very focused, concentrated wine with a long, lingering finish and refined tannins, it has excellent aging potential.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 100
James Suckling
Majestic aromas of crushed berry, meat, orange peel. Full body, very tannic yet ripe tannins and exquisite fruit. Amazing depth and density. They said they macerated a little more than normal because the fruit was perfect. A classic nebbiolo that reminds me of the great 1996. Really cool. About 30% less production. Don’t touch for five to 10 years. A celebratory wine for Gaja’s return to the Barbaresco appellation.
D 98
Decanter
An exemplary 2013 with both tension and refinement. The nose is rich and ripe, with ample upfront cherry fruit. There's zest and vigour on the fresh, lifted palate, and although it's quite assertive, this young wine is not too dense and the sweet but not jammy fruit shines through. Taut and spicy, it has elegance, balance and good length.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Congratulations to the Gaja family and their 2013 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo. This is a sheer and powerful expression of Nebbiolo that boasts a very firm and precise textural quality. The wine is 100% Nebbiolo, as blended Barbera is no longer part of the Sorì San Lorenzo DNA. The tannins are sharply delineated with a crunchy snap that you feel on the palate. This should definitely serve to keep the wine firmly rooted and committed to a slow aging trajectory. That structural firmness is the defining characteristic of this wine, and that unique identity is even more evident now that this wine is officially classified as Barbaresco.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Round and full of cherry, plum and mineral aromas and flavors matched to a dense, broad structure. Oak spice and tar elements enter the mix as this mouthwatering red winds down on the long, spicy aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2038.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Underbrush, camphor, dark berry and balsamic aromas take center stage on this radiant wine. The palate shows structure and finesse, delivering licorice, black cherry, French oak and a hint of exotic spice. Firm acidity and assertive tannins provide an age-worthy framework. Drink 2020–2035.
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Gaja
Gaja, 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.

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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.

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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 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.

CGM34165_2013 Item# 165221