2013, Gaja, Barbaresco

Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy

(Priced at per bottle)


Score: 93+

Drinking Dates: 2018-2040

Critic: Monica Larner

Tasted: 30-Jun-2016

The Gaja 2013 Barbaresco is a toned and elegant wine with a very impactful and focused bouquet. Dark fruit nuances segue seamlessly to spice, grilled herb, tar, licorice and leather. In keeping with that trademark Gaja touch, those transitions feel polished, long and smooth. The pleasure factor is high on this wine, thanks to the robust concentration it offers and the beautifully velvety nature of its texture. Gaia Gaja tells me that she and her family are especially happy with the quality of tannins achieved in this vintage. They do indeed show a noticeable level of succulence and proverbial crunch. This exciting set of wines from the Gaja family represents a true stylistic departure and a not-so-subtle break with the past. I enjoyed a very interesting tasting with Gaia Gaja at her family's Barbaresco property in May. As I tasted through the wines recorded below, I made a note to myself regarding what I perceived as a sharper tannic delineation in the wines and a more focused quality to the fruit. These wines are noticeably less fleshy, chewy or succulent compared to past vintages. They are tonic, crisp, angular and fiercely determined in a uniquely distinct manner. Angelo Gaja joined us at the conclusion of my tasting to exchange greetings. I asked if there was any new news to relay to my readers. The father and daughter team exchanged furtive glances and announced sheepishly: "Yes, there is something..." Have I piqued your interest? Look no further than the appellation field: The Langhe Nebbiolo DOC designation on the Costa Russi, Sorì Tildìn and Sorì San Lorenzo wines has been replaced by Barbaresco DOCG. These celebrated wines (that in the past saw the addition of 5% Barbera) are now 100% expression of Nebbiolo. "This change is something we've been discussing as a family for a long time," says a smiling Gaia Gaja. This is indeed a new chapter for Gaja.