Gaja Sperss Barolo 2017  Front Label
Gaja Sperss Barolo 2017  Front LabelGaja Sperss Barolo 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Gaja Sperss Barolo 2017

  • JD98
  • JS98
  • RP96
  • D96
  • WS95
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sperss is a term affectionately used to denote nostalgia for precious things lost with time – a homage to the origins of the winery and the generations who built it. The wine is a garnet color. On the nose, delicate berry notes cede to red orange, anise and the native summer black truffle. The wine displays a vertical lift, reticent tannins and a very long finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
From the estate’s property in Serralunga d’Alba, the 2017 Barolo Sperss is fresh with pine, perfectly ripe cherry, leather, and aniseed. It has classic Serralunga structure without being imposing, with ripe up-front fruit of dried raspberry as well as tea leaf, and refreshing acidity on the finish. It is layered with depth, but is remarkably drinkable now. This is a beautiful wine to finish out the Gaja lineup. Drink 2022-2042.
Rating: 98+
JS 98
James Suckling
Very intense aromas of roasted hazelnuts with dried flowers, tar and fruit. Full-bodied and very tight with a solid core of chewy yet refined tannins, this is a classically proportioned Barolo that displays superb structure and length. A thoroughly great wine. Try after 2025.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Following so quickly after the celestial 2016 vintage, this Gaja 2017 Barolo Sperss shows muscle and brawn; however, the Conteisa holds its own in terms of aromatic complexity. With fruit from Serralunga d'Alba, that added concentration and determination are expected, especially in a hot and dry vintage such as 2017. Here you get dark cherry fruit with cassis and wild plum. There are also floral aromas that veer toward red rose more than they do violets or blue flowers. And, of course, you get some of those iron-rich or mineral notes of rusty nail or iron that are often associated with Sperss.
D 96
Decanter
In 2017, according to Rossana Gaja, Sperss was picked almost a month after the start of the harvest on 18 September. Coming from Serralunga, this interpretation of Barolo exhibits a dark profile of earthy tones and chocolate, with graceful jam-like cherry, orange peel and violet. Thick and extracted on the mid-palate with crisp acidity, the structure is perfectly woven into its restrained plummy fruits and liquorice finish. It's not showing much poise at present, but clearly has a long life ahead. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
A fluid style, this red displays cherry, raspberry, currant, earth and tobacco flavors. Iron and tar accents join in as the dense swath of tannins adds closure. Overall, this is light on its feet, intense and lively, hanging together nicely. Best from 2025 through 2048.
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Gaja

Gaja

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Gaja, Italy
Gaja Sperss Vineyard Winery Image

Perched atop a steep hill in the Langhe sits the small village of Barbaresco, home of the GAJA winery. 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. Since that time, the winery has been shaped by each generation’s hand, notably that of Clotilde Rey, Angelo Gaja’s grandmother. Her passion for uncompromising quality influenced and informed Angelo Gaja. Through Angelo, these values have become the cornerstone of the GAJA philosophy and are engrained in every aspect of wine production

 In 1961, Angelo Gaja began his mission of bringing this great winery to an even higher level. He was the first to use barriques, 225-liter French oak barrels. Under his direction, GAJA pioneered the production of single-vineyard designated wines and was the first to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varietals in Piedmont. He was also instrumental in elevating the native Nebbiolo grape to world-class esteem.

 Angelo Gaja is joined by the fifth generation of the GAJA family – his daughters Gaia and Rossana and his son Giovanni. Together they continue to advance the winery’s 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 their terroir – the combination of soil, weather and vines that grow upon them, that GAJA wines reveal their true heart and soul.

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The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo wine region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo wine, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the Barolo wine region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soil types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

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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 Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.

SOU536040_2017 Item# 889874

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