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Gaja Sperss 2006

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
  • WE98
  • RP97
  • ST95
  • WS94
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Currently Unavailable $279.00
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Winemaker Notes

The Gaja family purchased grapes from Serralunga for their Barolo until 1961, when they decided to produce only from estate-owned vineyards. In 1988, they acquired the vineyard in one of Serralunga's best areas and named it "Sperss," which is Piedmontese for "nostalgia."

The nose shows a dark, pure and very focused fruit with classic hints of tar, licorice and a touch of truffles.

Sperss displays the austere character typical of Serralunga terroir: deep structure and lots of ripe tannins. Dense, massive yet seamless, this beautifully integrated wine possesses low acidity as well as a terrific finish

Critical Acclaim

WE 98
Wine Enthusiast

Sperss(the name is inspired by the local word for "nostalgia")is a vineyard located in the Barolo territory of Serralunga. Angelo Gaja adds 6% Barbera to the wine for brightness and freshness but the overall ensemble shows so much more than that. It delivers sophisticated softness and a velvety texture that is backed by exotic spice and loads of wild berry and licorice. Add huge depth and intensity and you have the criteria for a cellar-worthy wine. Will be ready to drink after 2020.Cellar Selection.

RP 97
The Wine Advocate

The first thing I noticed about the 2006 Langhe Sperss is the finish, which literally lasts an eternity. It, too, is more overtly structured, powerful and less fruit-forward than the 2007, but its focus and drive are commendable. The wine seems to hover on the palate with an ethereal expression of dark fruit, smoke, licorice, tar and menthol, all of which are backed up with substantial heft and sheer muscle. This is a marvelous effort from Gaja and will appeal most to readers with a preference for sturdy, age-worthy wines. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2041.

ST 95
International Wine Cellar

Deep red with ruby highlights. The nose shows distinctly blacker fruits than the Conteisa, along with medicinal licorice and marzipan notes. Extremely tight and primary in the mouth, suggesting terrific intensity of flavor and brooding power, then explodes with fruit on the long, firmly structured aftertaste. This wine, from compact marne and calcaire soil, has grip of steel and would appear to be built for a glorious evolution in bottle. 95(+?) points.

WS 94
Wine Spectator

A rich, chewy red, with complex flavors of sandalwood, plum, bitter chocolate and roasted vanilla, all backed by a firm structure. Yet there's terrific balance, and this just needs time to integrate. Best from 2014 through 2035.

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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.

A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings...

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A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt current to produce cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó, and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

Carmenere

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick...

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Dark, full-bodied, and herbaceous with a spicy kick, Carménère has found great success in Chile, far from its birthplace of Bordeaux. Although Carménère once accompanied Malbec and Petit Verdot as a minor blending grape in Bordeaux, it is now virtually extinct there, though it has been thriving since the mid-nineteenth century in Chile. Originally mistaken for Merlot, it is now successful of its own accord and plantings continue to increase. It is bottled both on its own and as part of Bordeaux-inspired blends.

In the Glass

If not fully ripe, Carménère is often marked by a green, herbaceous character (think green bell pepper and green peppercorn), and expresses flavors of red berry and black pepper when just ripe. With additional hangtime at the end of harvest, it is reminiscent more of blackberry, blueberry, and dark plum, with rich and savory notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and soy sauce.

Perfect Pairings

Carménère can easily overpower lighter fare, but makes a great match for a hearty steak or barbecued red meat. It can also work well with white meat when prepared with a richer sauce such as mole.

Sommelier Secret

Perhaps Carménère’s herbal character can be explained in part by familial relations—due to the strange nature of grapevine breeding, Carménère is both a progeny and a great-grandchild of the similarly flavored Cabernet Franc.

SOU284834_2006 Item# 109300

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