Vinous on GAJA: ‘The 2013 Barbarescos Are Fabulous’
Antonio Galloni has posted a new report on new releases from Barbaresco on his Vinous website, and several GAJA wines have received outstanding reviews. Galloni call the wines “a compelling set of new releases from Gaja,” and goes on to write:
“The Barbaresco and Costa Russi are super-classic, with bright Nebbiolo color and very little, if any, French oak influence. The Sorì Tildìn and Sorì San Lorenzo, while more restrained than in the past, are a bit darker and show subtle but noticeable French oak inflections. Either way, the 2013 Barbarescos are fabulous.”
Here are the individual reviews:
2013 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo
Gaja’s Sorì San Lorenzo, arguably the most iconic of all the wines, is superb. The 2013 is dark, virile and imposing, with a more classically leaning expression of power than in the recent past, not to mention tons of raw intensity. A host of graphite, savory herb, menthol, licorice, lavender, smoke and dark-fleshed fruits meld into the huge, tannic finish. There is a touch of French oak, but the virile personality of this site marries very naturally with the cooperage.
2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi
The 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a real head-turner. Crystalline and utterly vivid in its expression of Nebbiolo, the 2013 is all class. Stylistically, the Costa Russi is closest to the straight Barbaresco, but it has a little more mid-palate sweetness and density. Bright floral and minty notes add lift on the chiseled, expressive finish. The Costa Russi is the star of the show this year, considering it is the least pedigreed of Gaja’s three single-vineyard sites. The 2013 has been stunningly beautiful on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.
2013 Barbaresco Sori Tildin
As always, the Sorì Tildìn is a wine of nuance and delineation above all else. Beautifully sculpted and precise, the 2013 offers up a compelling interplay of dark red cherry, mint, lavender and licorice. A subtle accent of French oak adds nuance without detracting from the wine’s translucent personality and overall energy. At the same time, it is hard for the mind not to wander a bit and imagine what the wine might have tasted like had it been made more along the lines of the Costa Russi, especially given this site’s inherent finesse. But back to the present. The 2013 Sorì Tildìn is another drop-dead gorgeous beauty from Gaja.
The 2013 Barbaresco is fabulous. In fact, this is one of the best Barbarescos I have tasted at Gaja in many years. Vibrant, perfumed and beautifully sculpted in the glass, the 2013 possesses tons of understated intensity. Sweet red cherry, mint, white pepper and anise are all lifted in the glass. The 2013 is an almost shockingly classic Barbaresco from Gaja. The translucent color, vibrant Nebbiolo fruit and austere but noble tannins represent a move towards a much more traditional style. For readers who can find it, the 2013 is simply a must-have wine.
The 2013 Darmagi (Cabernet Sauvignon) is dark, sensual and inviting. Black cherry, spice, herb, chocolate and menthol are front and center. Vibrant and beautifully delineated, the 2013 possesses terrific balance and plenty of class. The Darmagi is certainly a solid, well made wine. But how does it compare to the best from Bordeaux and Napa Valley? Not that well. The Gaja children have now taken all of their flagship wines back to their historic appellations. Hopefully putting Nebbiolo back into this vineyard is coming next.