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Gaja Sperss 2007

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
  • RP97
  • JS95
14.5% ABV
  • RP96
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • WW94
  • JS94
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • WE95
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Langhe Sperss is beyond impeccable in the way it combines a powerful expression of Serralunga fruit in a round, enveloping style. Make no mistake about it, there is plenty of intensity and muscle here, but in 2007 Sperss is exceptionally harmonious from the start. The fruit is decidedly darker than the red-toned Conteisa, while an array of licorice, smoke and iron – all typical of Serralunga – add further gravitas. Even as the tannins build on the close, here, too, the finish is utterly sublime. The 2007 Sperss will test readers’ patience but it is simply magnificent even today. Readers who can wait will be rewarded with a breathtaking bottle of wine. Anticipated maturity: 2022-2047.
JS 95
James Suckling
A subtle intensity on the nose of tar, dark fruits and chocolate with hints of wet earth. Full bodied, with super polished tannins that caress the palate. Spices, berries and lightly toasted oak change to hazelnut and dark fruits. Very approachable now but so much more to offer with age. Wonderful length and class. Harmony. Try it in 2014.
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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.

With a distinctly Mediterranean climate featuring warm days and cool nights, the Lodi AVA in California’s Central Valley provides growers with ideal conditions for grape-growing. As most of the rain falls in winter months while vines are dormant, the risk of disease and pest problems is low and irrigation can make up for the dry conditions during harvest.

By a wide margin, Zinfandel is the most successful and widely planted variety in Lodi. Often made from old vines, these wines are robust and fleshy with ripe, plummy fruit and represent excellent value at the lower end of the price spectrum. Over 100 other varieties are grown here, ranging from the classic (Merlot, Chardonnay) to the obscure and experimental (Portugal’s Touriga Nacional, France's Picqpoul).

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

SWS302012_2007 Item# 115333

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