Aged for 12 months in French tonneaux and barriques, 10% new oak, followed by 12 months in large Gamba and Stockinger casks of Slavonian oak. ‘In 2008 we began with the gradual exchange of the large oak casks that were already used by my grandfather.’ Now their oldest oak cask is 15 years old. This wine was bottled at the beginning of June and has just been released.
Youthful, just mid ruby. Expressive, cool, sweetly perfumed red-fruit nose with a whiff of spicy new oak. Elegant, fresh raspberry fruit and with lively acidity and crunchy tannins that stick to the palate. Vibrant.
Drink 2023 - 2030
Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com (June 2023)
So many aromas of fresh rose petals as well as hibiscus tea. Medium-bodied with crunchy and flowery character with sliced strawberries and a bright finish. So appealing with lovely structure. Chewy at the end. Drinkable but better in three or four years.
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (July 2023)
Depth, structure and complexity are the hallmarks of Nebbiolo, and this wine certainly delivers but also offers a juicy helping of fresh berry fruits. It is blended from 14 different sites throughout the Barbaresco DOCG with an average of 40 years of vine age. Barbaresco is the wine that launched the Gaja legacy in 1859. Aromatics of spiced orange peel, an assertive bouquet of dried purple florals and a touch of dried mint.
The palate balances the savoury character of baking chocolate and fennel seed with an abundance of ripe red berry fruits—notes of strawberry and balsamic, raspberries and fresh mint and dried tobacco. There is ample structure, but a stylistic transition in more recent vintages of Barbaresco makes this wine immediately drinkable.
Drink 2023 - 2045
Clive Pursehouse, Decanter.com (June 2023)
A pale ruby, and blended from 14 vineyard sites, the 2020 Barbaresco was tasted as a barrel sample. Spicy and pure, it is full of red berries with Asian spice and white pepper. On the palate, it is medium-bodied, with elegance and refinement throughout, approachable and fine tannins, no harsh edges, and a long-lasting floral finish. This seem to be a vintage that will drink well early but have plenty of longevity as well.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (April 2023)
About this WINE
Angelo Gaja is Italy`s most renowned and dynamic wine personality and his impact on wine production in the last 30 years cannot be overestimated.
Angelo Gaja took over the family business in 1970 and, as he says: *The challenge was to maintain the basic power and depth of Nebbiolo while polishing the wines to give them richer colour, fuller fruit, better balance and a more refined style.'
In pursuit of this aim Gaja replanted many of the vineyards, installed temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks, introduced the concept of ageing wines in small oak barrels and began releasing single vineyard Barbarescos. Most controversial of all, Gaja planted some Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay on prime Barbaresco land.
Today Gaja has 101 hectares of vineyards divided into 32 separate plots and produces around 30,000 cases of wine a year. Gaja produces world-class wines that sell for world-class prices; his latest venture is in Tuscany where he has acquired an estate in Montalcino.
The Piedmontese DOCG zone of Barbaresco is responsible for producing some of Italy’s finest wines. It occupies the same region and uses the same grape (Nebbiolo) as its bigger brother Barolo, but is a third of the size (only 640 hectares versus Barolo’s 1,700 hectares). It is also 50 years younger than Barolo, having produced wine labelled Barbaresco since 1890.
Barbaresco earned its DOCG after Barolo in 1980, largely thanks to the efforts of Angelo Gaja. The soils are lighter here than in Barolo – both in colour and weight – and more calcareous. The slopes are also less favourably situated and (relatively speaking) yield earlier-maturing yet extremely elegant wines that require less oak ageing (normally one year in oak plus six months in bottle). The appellation’s key districts are Barbaresco, Treiso, Neive and Alba.
Recommended producers: Cigliuti, Gaja, Marchesi di Gresy
Nebbiolo is the grape behind the Barolo and Barbaresco wines and is hardly ever seen outside the confines of Piedmont. It takes its name from "nebbia" which is Italian for fog, a frequent phenomenon in the region.
A notoriously pernickety grape, it requires sheltered south-facing sites and performs best on the well-drained calcareous marls to the north and south of Alba in the DOCG zones of Barbaresco and Barolo.
Langhe Nebbiolo is effectively the ‘second wine’ of Piedmont’s great Barolo & Barbarescos. This DOC is the only way Langhe producers can declassify their Barolo or Barbaresco fruit or wines to make an early-drinking style. Unlike Nebbiolo d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo can be cut with 15% other red indigenous varieties, such as Barbera or Dolcetto.
Nebbiolo flowers early and ripens late, so a long hang time, producing high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins; the challenge being to harvest the fruit with these three elements ripe and in balance. The best Barolos and Barbarescos are perfumed with aromas of tar, rose, mint, chocolate, liquorice and truffles. They age brilliantly and the very best need ten years to show at their best.