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Club Oenologique: Gaja, Piedmont and the Importance of Identity

Club Oenologique featured the Gaja family in the April 1, 2021 article Gaja, Piedmont and the Importance of Identity, written by Adam Lechmere.

“In a major profile in the spring edition of Club Oenologique, Gaja outlines how the producer has expanded from its Barbaresco base to become a pan-Italian company, operating from the far north to the far south of the country. The new projects – the “adventures” – include Idda Etna, a €4m joint venture in Sicily, and 30ha in the Alta Langa sub-zone of southern Piedmont.

Retaining Gaja’s identity while cementing this extensive empire will be the focus of the next few years, Gaia tells Club O. “Yes, there is a danger of dilution,” she says, citing Ca’Marcanda, the Bolgheri estate that her father Angelo bought 30 years ago as an example. “We need to promote the beauty of Ca’Marcanda better to distinguish it,” she says, adding that she doesn’t agree that only indigenous grapes can confer authenticity. “Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t have a strong connection with Bolgheri, but it doesn’t matter. We believe that Bolgheri has that quality.” “

Click here to read the full article.

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Jeb Dunnuck: GAJA Barolo Sperss 2015 Honored as a Top Wine of 2020

In addition to awarding GAJA Barolo Sperss 2015 a perfect score of 100 points, Jeb Dunnuck ranked it #43 on his list The Top Wines of 2020.


“The 2015 Barolo Sperss is another smoking good 2015 that shows the sunny warmth of the vintage in its massive bouquet of blackcurrants, kirsch liqueur, red plums, Asian spices, violets, and flowery incense. It reminds me of the incredible 1997, and Barolo doesn’t get much more sexy or opulent. This brilliant, full-bodied wine has ripe, velvety tannins, beautiful depth of fruit, and a great finish. It needs a solid hour in a decanter if drinking any time soon and will benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age. It should drink brilliantly over the following 25-30 years.”

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Jeb Dunnuck Reviews New Releases from GAJA

Jeb Dunnuck has published a special report reviewing the new releases from GAJA.

Highlights from Dunnuck’s report include:

“This article looks at the new releases from the Gaja family and includes their flagship Barbaresco and Barolo releases as well as their releases from Pieve Santa Restituta and Ca’Marcanda.”

“Looking at the Gaja releases, these come mostly from the 2017 vintage, which was a challenging, scorching hot year that made reaching full phenolic ripeness difficult. The 2017s possess lighter colors, more streamlined textures, and present, firm tannins.”

“I was also able to taste their 2016 Barolo Sperss, which is always released after their single vineyard Barbaresco. This beauty comes from a more even, classic year and offers everything you could want: Incredible aromatics, thrilling richness, perfect balance, and a majestic, layered, seamless profile that is impossible to resist. In this reviewer’s opinion, the 2016 Sperss is a legendary Barolo in the making.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 100 Points for GAJA Barolo Sperss 2016


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 100 points to GAJA Barolo Sperss 2016

100 points 
GAJA Barolo Sperss 2016

“As with the 2015, the 2016 Barolo Sperss is a perfect wine. Deep ruby-hued, it boasts a gorgeous perfume of cherry and blueberry-like fruits that are interwoven with notes of tobacco, violets, crushed stone, and licorice. This carries to a magical, full-bodied, powerful wine revealing flawless tannins, off-the-charts purity, and a finish that just about won’t quit. From an incredible vintage for Piedmont, this has everything: awesome purity of fruit, power without weight, building yet ultra-fine tannins, notable freshness, and the class to drink well today yet age gracefully for 30-40 years.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 95+ Points for Gaja Barbaresco 2017


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 95+ points to Gaja Barbaresco 2017.

95+ points 
Gaja Barbaresco 2017

“A pretty, perfumed example of this cuvee, the 2017 Barbaresco offers lots more red fruits as well as spice, dried flowers, incense, and loamy soil. With more licorice and minerality emerging with time in the glass, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, an elegant texture, plenty of firm tannins, and a great finish. It doesn’t get more textbook Nebbiolo than this. This classic beauty is going to benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age and have 2-3 decades of longevity.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 95 Points for Gaja Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo 2017


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 95 points to Gaja Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo 2017.

95 points 
Gaja Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo 2017

“Also light ruby hued (all of the 2017s are on the lighter hued side), the 2017 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo comes from a warmer terroir and was brought up in barrel. It has beautiful red fruits as well as complex notes of spring flowers, spice, and menthol. Playing in the elegant, seamless end of the spectrum, with impressive tannins, it has slightly more concentration compared to the Sori Tilden (which is normal for this cuvée) yet it still shows the more streamlined, elegant style shared by all the 2017s from Gaja. This beautiful, nuanced, complex Barbaresco needs 5-6 years of bottle age and will keep for 20+ years.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 95 Points for Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn 2017


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 95 points to Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn 2017.

95 points 
Gaja Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn 2017

“Light ruby hued, the 2017 Barbaresco Sori Tildin is a nuanced, elegant Barbaresco offering lots of beautiful red and subtle blue fruits intermixed with notes of wildflowers, licorice, asphalt, tobacco, and dried spices. Aromatic, incredibly perfumed, and already complex, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a lengthy, seamless finish that carries plenty of salinity and freshness. It’s not a blockbuster, but it excels on its purity, freshness, and elegance, and it certainly has enough tannins for a long life. It didn’t show at its best until day two, so if you’re opening bottles any time soon, a healthy decant is recommended. It will ideally be given 5-7 years of bottle age to hit its early drink window and should evolve for 20+.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 94 Points for Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 2017


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 94 points to Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 2017.

94 points 
Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 2017

“Falling in between the Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo stylistically, the 2017 Barbaresco Costa Russi offers a ripe bouquet of mulled cherry and blackberry fruits intermixed with lots of balsamic, licorice, loamy soil, dried spices, and a touch of asphalt. This carries to a medium to full-bodied, elegant Barbaresco with broad, mouth-coating tannins, a solid core of acidity, and a great finish. As with all of these wines, it need lots of air to shed some austerity and pick up more sweetness in its tannins (which can be common for hot vintages) and is going to benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and have two decades of prime drinking.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 94 Points for Gaja Darmagi 2017


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 94 points to Gaja Darmagi 2017.

94 points 
Gaja Darmagi 2017

“While a base Langhe release, the 2017 Darmagi is stunning stuff, offering a killer bouquet of ripe red and black fruits, hot asphalt, spring flowers, tobacco, and a touch of rocky, earthy minerality. With a rich, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, a more supple, upfront style, and sweet tannins, it already offers loads of pleasure, yet its solid spine of tannins and acidity make me believe it will still be drinking nicely in 15-20 years.”

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Jeb Dunnuck: 93 Points for Gaja Langhe Gaia & Rey 2018


Jeb Dunnuck
has awarded a score of 93 points to Gaja Langhe Gaia & Rey 2018.

93 points 
Gaja Langhe Gaia & Rey 2018

“Named after Lucia and Angelo Gaja’s daughter, Gaia Gaja, and Angelo’s granmother, Clotilde Rey, the 2018 Langhe Gaia & Rey (100% Chardonnay) offers a richer, layered, medium-bodied style that carries beautiful stone fruits, white flowers, salty minerality, and a touch of honeysuckle. Nicely textured and balanced, with both richness and freshness, this outstanding Chardonnay should continue drinking nicely for another 5-7 years.”