The White Wines of Piedmont
Of course, GAJA is famous for their powerhouse reds like Barbaresco and Barolo but GAJA also produces an impressive selection of white wines that have garnered incredible scores and are collectible in their own right. With the impending release of the GAJA trio of white wines, this month we are focusing on wines crafted from Chardonnay and/or Sauvignon Blanc, that are expressive of terroir and the elegant GAJA style: Rossj-Boss 2017, Alteni di Brassica 2016, and Gaia & Rey 2016.
Compared with the 2015, the 2016 vintage has been fresher in terms of temperatures. Overall, the 2016 white varieties feature low pH and high acidity combined with generous fruit expression; balance, freshness and sweet fruit concentration are the benchmark of the 2016 vintage. The 2017 harvest will be remembered for the healthiness of the grapes, due to the dry growing season, and for the overall drop of the production, which is estimated around 20% for GAJA.
A blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the Treiso and Serralunga vineyards, the first vintage of Rossj-Boss was produced in 1988. Fermented in steel and aged in oak for 6 months, the 2017 Rossj-Boss opens with a marked floral character (jasmine and daisies) followed by fresh notes of green almond, sage, thyme, green tea leaves and freshly-cut grass. On the palate the wine shows juicy notes of nectarine, pear, mango and pineapple. The bright acidity cuts the palate, leading to mineral notes of flint and mint. Overall the 2017 Rossj-Bass is a fresh, food-friendly wine with a long finish proving that great quality often comes from scarcity.
Alteni di Brassica 2016
100% Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards in Barbaresco and Serralunga, the first vintage of Alteni di Brassica was produced in 1986. Fermented in oak and aged in oak for six to eight months. Powerful and nuanced, the 2016 Alteni di Brassica reaches a new level of complexity. It opens with intense spicy notes of sage, white pepper, sweet licorice, and flint. Then it evolves into its fruitier character with ripe notes of citron, lemon peel, grapefruit, green pear, and nectarine. Thanks to the bright acidity and the salinity, Alteni di Brassica 2016 retains its energy and tension, well balanced by the remarkable fruit concentration which make this wine appealing even when young.
Gaia & Rey 2016
100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Treiso and Serralunga, the first vintage of Gaia & Rey was produced in 1983. Fermented in oak and aged in oak for six to eight months; Creamy and floral, the 2016 Gaia & Rey opens with inviting sweet notes of white flowers, lemon peel, nectarine, fresh peeled almond, agave, dandelion honey, fresh ginger, and white pepper. The richness of the nose is reflected in the palate, where the bright acidity lifts the wine and leads to an overall sweet yet fresh character.