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Gaja Sori San Lorenzo 2014

Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
  • JD97
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  • JS95
  • WE94
  • D92
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine made history when it became one of the earliest single-vineyard bottlings of Nebbiolo in Piedmont with the 1967 vintage. Sourced from the GAJA winery’s top growing site, San Lorenzo, located just south of the village of Barbaresco in the famed cru Secondine, the wine is made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes.

Deep red color, the 2014 Sori San Lorenzo shows aromas of licorice, black tea, savory and balsamic herbs notes, graphite and violet come out slowly in the glass giving birth to a complex and layered bouquet. The most recognizable and ageable of the three single vineyards. Intense fruit expression of red orange, ripe blueberry, red and black plum, complex botanical flavors of Mediterranean spices like oregano, basil and thyme. The mineral finish is powerful and persistent. Compact structure and great ageing potential.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2014 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo is certainly one of more structured, masculine 2014s. From more limestone soils and a slightly cooler, south facing hillside, it offers a deeper ruby color to go with beautiful notes of black cherries, currants, wood smoke, white flowers, and an undeniable minerality. Like all the 2014s, it’s incredibly elegant on the palate, with a Burgundian-like texture, fine tannin, and terrific length. As with the Sori Tildin, it unwinds with time in the glass, yet needs 4-5 years of bottle age and is going to cruise in the cellar for 20-25+ years.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Earthy notes lead off, followed by cherry, plum, graphite and tobacco flavors. Starts out broad and muscular, with a thick layer of tannins for support, yet gains elegance with aeration. A tad austere on the finish, but stays vibrant and long. Best from 2021 through 2036.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Gaja's 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is clearly at the beginning of a long and promising aging trajectory. At it's core, it shows a pinch of nervous energy and inner tightness that will surely unravel and soften as this beautiful wine continues along its magical journey in time. Angelo Gaja and his family present spectacular results in this controversial 2014 vintage. They have risen far above most of their peers and have shown a keen ability to understand their site and the versatility of their cherished Nebbiolo grape. The variety sings with a loud and exuberant voice, first offering plenty of primary fruit like blackberry and dried cherry. It then follows up with savory earth and spice. This is a bright and youthful wine that is set steady for a long aging future.
JS 95
James Suckling
This is closed at first – indeed it's just a baby – but soon opens up with some air to display wild strawberries, red cherries, cedar and nutmeg. The palate is full but very tight and refined, showing firm, grippy tannins that need time, driven acidity and a long, minerally finish. Better in 2020.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Gaja 2014 Sorì San Lorenzo (Barbaresco). Forest floor, Porcini mushroom, eucalyptus, dark spice and toasted aromas curl out of the glass. It’s youthfully austere, offering cranberry, sour cherry and licorice framed in assertive, closegrained tannins. It still needs time to come around and fully bloom. Drink 2024–2034. Cellar Selection
D 92
Decanter
Although lush and smoky on the nose, this is more gawky on the palate and probably needs time to settle down. It initially seems medium-bodied and almost ethereal, but then firm tannins kick in for a grippy mid-palate. Austere now, this lacks charm and even some freshness, but is likely to harmonise after another year in bottle.
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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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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.

SWS484946_2014 Item# 343836