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The 2015 GAJA Vintage Earns Exceptional Reviews & High Scores (91+) from Antonio Galloni of Vinous

Influential wine critic Antonio Galloni, founder of Vinous, wrote extensively about GAJA in October 2018. In addition to awarding wines from the 2015 vintage with stellar scores ranging from 91 to 96 points, Galloni praised the new generation of the Gaja family for their leadership.

Ognissanti (21)In his article Barbaresco – Out of the Shadows: The 2016s and 2015s, Galloni writes,“The young generation is very much in charge at Gaja. Parents Angelo and Lucia might stop by from time to time, but these days, Gaia, Rossana, and Giovanni Gaja are running the show. The 2015 Barbarescos are super-polished wines that capture all the best [the] vintage had to offer. The last few years have seen a pretty dramatic set of shifts at Gaja, starting with a move toward sustainable farming in the vineyards to an approach in winemaking that prizes finesse over size. The Gajas describe 2015 as a very warm vintage, especially in June and July, that had the fortune of being able to draw from hydric reserves that remained following rain and snow during winter. Most of the Nebbiolo was brought in between October 10 and 15.”

CR_DOP_NVGAJA Barbaresco Costa Russi 2015
96 Points
“The 2015 Barbaresco Costa Russi is once again striking in 2015. Vertical and lifted, with tremendous energy, the 2015 has so much to offer. Once the most easygoing of the three Barbaresco crus, Costa Russi has inched up in quality in recent years. The 2015 shows the suave mid-palate and raciness that is so typical of this wine, and yet it also has much more obvious structural underpinnings than once was the case. I can’t wait to see how it ages.”

ST_DOP_NVGaja Barbaresco Sori Tildin 2015
95 Points
“The 2015 Barbaresco Sori Tildin is bright, perfumed and lifted in feel. Sori Tildin is always the most delicate of the single vineyard wines. In 2015, it is also a touch lithe. Bright red cherry, mint, pine and floral notes gradually develop in the glass. In two tastings, separated by about six weeks, the Sori Tildin was uncharacteristically austere and compact, its considerable character notwithstanding, Sori Tildin is usually a wine of sensuality, but I don’t see much of that at this admittedly early stage.”

Barbaresco NV_DOPGAJA Barbaresco 2015
94 Points
Gaja’s 2015 Barbaresco is gorgeous. Deep, pliant, and resonant, the 2015 exudes class from the very first taste. Today, the aromatics are not especially open or expressive, but it is the wine’s depth and overall sense of harmony that really carry the day. Hints of orange peel, spice, and rosewater give the 2015 an exotic aromatic top register that is hugely appealing. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this gem. The 2015 is a wonderfully complete and harmonious wine, but it really does need a few years in the cellar to fully unwind.”

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GAJA Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 2015
94 Points
“The 2015 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo is endowed with serious concentration and power. In 2015 some of the site signatures that make Sori San Lorenzo so distinctive are not especially apparent. It will be interesting to see how and when they develop. To be sure Sori San Lorenzo comes across as not fully put together and also somewhat in conflict with the approach that drives today’s GAJA wines.”

 

Darmagi Dop NVGAJA Darmagi 2015
91 Points
“The 2015 Darmagi (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) is gracious, medium in body, and fragrant. In this vintage, Darmagi is decidedly medium in body, with more of a red-fruit leaning profile than in the past. Soft, silky, and inviting, the 2015 has a lot to offer. At the same time, the 2015, while attractive, is not as varietally expressive as it can be in the finest years.”

 

 

Click here to visit the Vinous website.

Forbes: Gaja Sito Moresco 2015 Selected as Red Wine of the Week

Sito Moresco Dop NVForbes contributor Brian Freedman featured Gaja Sito Moresco 2015 in the October 5, 2018 article Wines of the Week: Wallet-Friendly Gems from Prosecco and Piedmont.

“My red Wine of the Week, then, is the Gaja Sito Moresco 2015, a beautiful blend of 35% Nebbiolo, 25% Barbera, 25% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the Langhe, in Italy’s Piedmont region. The fruit comes specifically from Barbaresco, Treiso, and Serralunga d’Alba, and unlike Gaja’s remarkable single-vineyard reds, this one is meant to be enjoyed in its youth. It can be aged in proper cellar conditions for several years, but honestly, there is no reason to wait: It’s excellent already.”

“There is an almost smoky note on the nose, with tar and flowers joined by hints of leather, menthol, and plums. These precede flavors of black and red cherries, currant, a hint of freshly dug mushrooms, and peppercorn spice, all wrapping up with subtle licorice that lingers on the tongue. Vibrant acidity cuts through the silky texture, making this beautifully suited to enjoying at the table, as well as on its own.”

Wine Spectator: The Gaja Family on the Importance of Doubt

Ognissanti (21)Even one of Italy’s most famous wine families can never be certain that they know the best way to do everything. In fact, Gaia Gaja says, doubt plays a key role in her family’s philosophy. She explains why at the 2017 New York Wine Experience.

 

Gaia Gaja Discusses Viticulture and Her Role in the Family Business

Gaia Gaja of wine producer Gaja discusses viticulture philosophy and her role in the five-generation-old family business in this video.

Wine Spectator: Barolo Conteisa 2013 Awarded 92 Points

GAJA NV CONTEISA

“Densely woven with flavors of cherry, plum, earth and spice, this red starts out very tightly wrapped, relaxing and gaining richness with air. A touch dry on the finish, but overall balanced. Decant at least 3 hours now, or better yet, age another 5 years. Best from 2022 through 2038. 200 cases imported. ” – Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator: Barolo Sperss 2013 Given 96 Points

sperss

“Textbook rose, tar and cherry aromas and flavors, with accents of oak, spice, licorice and tobaccom are the hallmarks of this complex red. Powerful yet harmonious, showing fine structure and a lingering finish. Best from 2022 through 2040. 375 cases imported.” – Bruce Sanderson

Jeb Dunnuck Importer Report: GAJA Reviews

sori san lorenzo_crop2

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

sperss

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

conteisa

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

 

darmagi

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

 

gaia gaja drinks

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

Food & Wine: 40 Wines That Changed the Way We Drink, Sorì San Lorenzo is #10

40 Most Influential Wines

Photo by Justin Walker

Some wines are good, some are bad, and some are significant. Here are 40 that made a difference. 

Ray Isle

March 06, 2018

What was the first wine? There’s no way to know, though the oldest evidence of winemaking dates back 8,000 years, to Stone Age villages in the mountains south of Tbilisi, Georgia. But whoever made that first wine, man or woman, priest or peasant, we owe them a big debt. Some wines are good, some are bad, and some—a very few, like that first one—are significant. Maybe they shatter preconceptions about the potential of a grape or region; maybe they shock us with a new flavor or set of tastes; maybe they even leave us taken aback by the fact that they’re packaged in cans. Here are 40 that made a difference.

 

10. Gaja Sorì San Lorenzo (1967)

The message was clear: In the hands of an unparalleled winemaker like Angelo Gaja, Barbaresco’s greatest vineyards could be as fully distinctive and terroir-expressive as those of Burgundy. The original 1967 vintage of this wine was his first single-vineyard Barbaresco and one of the first in the region; the current 2013 Gaja Sorì San Lorenzo ($475) is thrillingly aromatic, powerfully structured, and still revelatory, 51 years later.

Click here to read the entire article.

Houston Press: Famed Italian Winemaker Gaja Here and Gone In A Day

Restaurateurs Brian Brossa (left) and Michael May (right) of Enoteca Rossa share a laugh with Gaia Gaja.

Restaurateurs Brian Brossa (left) and Michael May (right) of Enoteca Rossa share a laugh with Gaia Gaja Photo by Kate McLean

“We’re going.” Brian said as he flicked the promotion card at me excitedly while I polished stemware. “I need to check my schedule, but…” I inspected the flyer more closely, “…oh, we’re going.”

Gaia Gaja, eldest daughter of legendary Italian winemaker Angelo Gaja, was in Houston Tuesday and kept a tight schedule. Hosted by the Terlato Wine Group, she did a training in the morning, a sommelier lunch at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, an afternoon wine tasting at Da Marco Cucina E Vino, and a wine dinner at Potente. For Italian wine lovers, attending either of these events is the equivalent of front row seats to Beyoncé.

It’s nothing new that Houston lures reputable winemakers from around the world. We’re an attractive, thriving market of wine drinkers after all. Industry people who are sometimes too busy to break away from work certainly find a reason when iconic wine houses like Gaja come to town. Her stay in the United States, a brief one, includes stops in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Florida.

The vineyards of Gaja are located in the Piedmont and Tuscany regions of Italy; the land of Barolo, Barbaresco, and super Tuscans. Gaja bottles have a simple lable; because all they really need to sell their wine are those four letters linked with over 150 years of practice and good decision making.

Angelo Gaja, who began working the family business in 1961 modernized their technique in addition to adding new grape varietals into the fold. While Gaja was always good, once Angelo got his hands on the vines they became great. In reference to side-stepping a deal with Napa Valley’s Robert Mondavi, this legend is reputed to have compared it to, “a mosquito having sex with an elephant: very dangerous and not much pleasure.”

Wine representatives, sommeliers, restaurant owners and chefs milled about, interacting with Gaia Gaja herself while tasting a generous selection of vintages. If you’re interested in tasting Gaja she recommends these:

Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany region): 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2013, and she’s excited about 2016.

Piedmont region: 1999, 2001, 2013, and 2014.

Around the time we tasted the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino (5 minutes in) we all got a little giddy. It’s common at daytime wine tastings to spit, but when you’re sipping Gaja on a beautiful afternoon in Houston, TX, you don’t spit gold.

She likes visiting Houston though. “The people in Texas are very welcoming and I always have a lot of fun when I come here, that’s the real reason.” Behind New York, Texas imports the most Gaja in the United States. Go team. Click here for this article.

 

– Kate McLean

Wine Spectator Insider: 2014 Gaja Barbarescos

Angelo Gaia 3_slider

“When you talk about the character of a wine, you are talking about the character of the vintage,” said Gaia. “In the easy vintages, the grapes keep memories of the easy child­ hood they had, and the wines are easy and friendly. In 2014, the wines are not like that.” They had a tough childhood, and that gave them tension and complexity on top of the depth that comes from the Nebbiolo grape.

“Nebbiolo is not an open book. You have to investigate it,” she said. Sanderson de­scribed the Gaja Barbaresco 2014, a blend of 14 different parcels, as firmly structured, needing time to open, with a complex finish.

Angelo’s father, Giovanni, was a vintner, a surveyor and mayor of the town of Barbaresco. These roles helped him find some of the best vineyards, including Costa Russi, at the bottom of one slope, and Sorì Tildin, at the top of the same. While tasting the Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi 2014 and Sorì Tildin 2014, Gaia explained that the lower slope receives less sun­ shine and yields a more floral, elegant wine. Sorì Tildin, ex­posed to more constant sun offers riper fruit flavors.

The Gaja Sorì San Lorenzo 2014, from another prime Bar­baresco vineyard, is known for structure over fruit or floral el­ements, Gaia said. As Sander­son noted, this is a Nebbiolo to age, with muscular tannins and earthy notes.

Now it’s my turn. For the people in the back, I’m the older one,” joked Angelo, now semi-retired . He spoke of a les­son his grandmother Clotilde Rey, who helped manage the winery for years, taught him as a young boy. She explained that in order to be a true arti­san, he needed to do, to know how, to teach how, and to transmit knowledge.

To do means to devote your­self to a craft, then learn to truly understand it, Angelo ex­plained. Next you must teach the next generation, and fi­nally, transmit your knowledge to the world. Gaja has done all those things.

But even as he has handed control to his daughters, Gaia and Rossana (now the wine­ maker), and his son Giovanni, he has new projects . In April, he announced that he has in­vested on Sicily’s Mt. Etna, forming a joint venture with local producer Alberto Graci to grow Carricante and Ner­ello Mascalese and eventually build a winery.

Artisans never stop creat­ing. “My father,” said Gaia, “is always looking to the future.”

– Mitch Frank