Jeb Dunnuck Importer Report: GAJA Reviews

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2014 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo  – 97 Points

“The 2014 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo is certainly one of more structured, masculine 2014s. From more limestone soils and a slightly cooler, south facing hillside, it offers a deeper ruby color to go with beautiful notes of black cherries, currants, wood smoke, white flowers, and an undeniable minerality. Like all the 2014s, it’s incredibly elegant on the palate, with a Burgundian-like texture, fine tannin, and terrific length. As with the Sori Tildin, it unwinds with time in the glass, yet needs 4-5 years of bottle age and is going to cruise in the cellar for 20-25+ years,” – JD


Barbaresco NV_300dpi2014 Barbaresco – 95 Points

The 2014 Barbaresco is beautiful and made in a fine elegant style. Its medium ruby color is followed by classic (yet incredibly pure) notes of ripe black cherries and currants, with ample floral nuances, and it hits the palate with medium-bodied depth and richness that carries serious amounts of ripe, polished tannins. With nicely integrated acidity, beautiful purity of fruit, and a big finish, it blossoms with time in the glass yet still needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for 25-30 years,” – JD


2013 Barolo Sperss  – 97 Points

“The gem of the 2013s is the 2013 Barolo Sperss which comes from limestone-dominated soils. The 2013 is deep, concentrated, and structured, with a fabulous sense of minerality in its black cherry, leafy herbs, damp earth, and licorice aromas and flavors. From a late, cool vintage, it has awesome purity of fruit, plenty of tannins and a huge finish. It’s a brillant wine any way you look at it. I’d happily drink this elixir today but it deserves at least 3-4 years and will keep for 25+,” – JD


2013 Barolo Conteisa – 95 Points

“The 2013 Barolo Conteisa (which is the first year it’s been classified as a Barolo) is another beautiful, elegant 2013 that has loads of charm. Black cherries, framboise, tobacco, and smoked earth characteristics all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, silky effort that has ripe – even sweet – tannin, no hard edges, and beautiful purity of fruit. It’s far from inaccessible but will be better in 2-3 years and keep for two decades,” – JD



2013 Darmagi – 92 Points

“The 2013 Darmagi is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon (there’s 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc) and comes from a small 2.8-hectare vineyard. Aged 6-8 months in barrel before being moved to a larger oak cask for a year, it offers a Bordeaux-like character in its ripe dark fruits, tobacco, and damp earth aromas and flavors. Possessing medium-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity, and an elegant, seamless style on the palate, it’s a beautiful wine to drink over the coming 10-15 years. It’s the most mid-weight of the four vintages reviewed for this report, yet it’s impeccably balanced and a classy wine,” – JD

2012 Darmagi – 94 Points

“The 2012 Darmagi is a ripper, more voluptuous and sexy wine compared to the 2013. Made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc brought up in barrels and larger oak casks, its deep ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by loads of classic Cabernet dark fruits, damp earth, graphite and obvious minerality. With sweet,polished tannin and plenty of fruit, its a pleasure bent, yet elegant beauty that will keep for 15-20 years,” – JD

2011 Darmagi – 94 Points

“From a warmer vintage, the 2011 Darmagi saw a slightly different elevage, spending two years in 20% new oak barrels. It’s a more evolved, upfront, perfumed wine and boasts lots of red and black currant fruits, smoked herbs and dried earth aromas and flavors. Already drinking nicely, with chewy tannin, it lacks the elegance and purity found in the 2010 but makes up for it with sheer exuberance and character. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years,” – JD

2010 Darmagi – 95+ Points

“The gem of the lineup is the 2010 Darmagi which is the most pure, seamless, and elegant of the vintages reviewed in this report, all while not losing a beat with regards to depth and concentration. Blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and a touch of rocky minerality all flow to a medium to full-bodied, elegant, yet concentrated beauty that does everything right. With good acidity, fine, polished tannin, perfect balance and a great finish, this spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon will benefit from another 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years,” – JD


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1982 Barbaresco 95 Points

“While working on this report, I had lunch with Gaia Gaja while she was visiting Denver, Colorado, and she brought a bottle of 1982 Barbaresco. Showing how beautifully these wines age, this gorgeous Barbaresco was still ruby to the rim and offers a classic, mature bouquet of dried cherries, leafy herbs, tobacco and spice. Medium-bodied, seamless, and elegant, yet still packed with sweet fruit, it’s a glorious Barbaresco drinking at point. It should have no issues keeping for another decade, but there’s no need to delay gratification,”  JD

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