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Gaja Sperss 2008

Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
  • RP96
  • WE95
  • JS94
  • WS94
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Ruby red in color. 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 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Sperss is exotic, dark and totally seductive. Black cherries, mint, licorice, flowers, spices and juniper berries meld together in the glass, all supported by firm, insistent tannins. Today the Sperss has begun to shut down in bottle. It isn't anywhere near as expressive as the Conteisa, but that will come in time. There is so much to look forward to, but readers will have to be patient. In time, the 2008 Sperss will be yet another viscerally thrilling wine. Sperss is made from the Marenca and Rivette vineyards in Serralunga. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2048.
Rating: 96+
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Gaja's Sperss was once a Barolo but now occupies a category all its own as a Nebbiolo from the Langhe region—the producer famously declassified his top wines. This shows extreme elegance and sophistication with fine nuances of forest fruit, spice, dried tobacco, licorice and Spanish cedar. The finish is long, polished and bright. Drink after 2020.
Cellar Selection
JS 94
James Suckling
This has a crazy intensity with a big hit of new wood but loads of ripe yet subtle fruit, from plums to dark berries. Full and chewy with round tannins and a long, persistent finish. Turns to licorice and spice in the aftertaste. Better in 2016.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
There's a lot of toasty oak framing the black cherry, tobacco and spice flavors in this suave, powerful red. Balanced overall, with plenty of fruit, but needs time to integrate more fully. Displays a fine mix of fruit and spice on the aftertaste. Best from 2016 through 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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Piedmontese

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Attracting the most glory, prestige and fame to the Piedmont region, Nebbiolo in all of its expressions—Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero, Ghemme and Gattinara—creates a complex wine, truly unique for its delicate qualities combined with strength and a great potential to improve over time.

But Nebbiolo isn’t all there is to red wine from Piedmont! Barbera is the most planted variety and historically most popular as a dependable, food-friendly, everyday wine.

Beyond these two, a surprising number of red varieties call Piedmont their home. Worth a try include Dolcetto for its bold concentration and aromas of spice cake. Other grapes to investigate include Freisa, Croatina, Brachetto, Grignolino and Pelaverga.

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CGM19934_2008 Item# 120468