0 immediate, 5 marketplace
Average critic rating : 93.0 points
Gaja’s 2003 Barbaresco may well challenge its bigger siblings as the most successful of these new releases. Made in a style that combines expressive aromatics, the ripeness of the vintage and classic structure, it is an awesome effort. Though it offers plenty of super-ripe fruit and notable concentration, it never comes across as being heavy and displays exceptional overall balance. Gaja’s Barbaresco rarely shows this well so early in the game and my guess is that my score may end up being conservative. “Oddly enough it was our worst-exposed parcels that performed best in 2003, although I suppose that makes sense given that these plots were more protected from the sun. We did a very severe selection in the cellar and in 2003 we bottled a small amount of Barbaresco, roughly 30,000 bottles as compared to our normal amount of 70,000 bottles. We did a similarly stringent selection with our single-vineyard wines,” adds Gaja. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2021. Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate # 167.
The wines of Angelo Gaja have been at the forefront of Piedmont for many years. An ancient family domaine established in the 1850s, the business was revolutionised by Angelo when he joined in 1961, bringing methods and a philosophy that were decades ahead of their time.
Taking full control of the family business in 1970, Gaja has been a pioneer ever since, and his Barbarescos are the famous wines of the region. Indeed you could say that Gaja put Barbaresco on the map.
More of a modernist than many of his neighbours, Gaja’s wines are polished, pure and precise. In youth they can often be inpenetrably faultless; with age they are peerless. The single vineyard wines – Costa Russi, Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo cannot be called Barbaresco despite their vineyard sites: a dash of Barbera in these wines, which adds just a touch of plumpness to the Nebbiolo, breaks just one of the numerous rules imposed on the winemakers of Piedmont that Mr Gaja views as an impediment to making his extraordinary wines.
A genius for sure, Angelo Gaja cannot be faulted for what he puts in the bottle. Robert Parker
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