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Gaja Sperss is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Vibrant and intense notes of herbs and spices such as thyme, cloves and black pepper. On the palate the wine is tense, loaded with energy that will need serious ageing to fully develop although extremely approachable in its youth. Impressive fruit concentration, with dark and ripe fruits – prunes and black cherries. Acidity and tannins lift this wine to its freshest expression.
Nebbiolo based wines have not only complexity and structure but also great elegance and finesse. The distinctive silky tannins of the Nebbiolo make it the right wine to drink with meat. Usually a young vintage goes very well with richer dishes because of the stronger tannins; mature Barolos are more suitable with delicate white meat courses or braised meat courses with sauces or concentrated red wines reductions.
The 2018 Barolo Sperss is a gorgeous, gorgeous wine. The aromatics alone are beguiling. Then again, that's one of the things that makes Barolo such a totally seductive wine. Sweet black cherry, lavender, spice and leather give this unusually translucent Barolo striking layers of dimension. Potent Serralunga tannins are present, but they are beautifully woven into the wine's fabric. Sadly, production is around 11,000 bottles, down sharply from the 18,000 or so that is more typical.
- -- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
Located in Piedmont in northwestern Italy, the GAJA winery is widely considered to be one of the greatest estates in the world, producing coveted and collectible labels. From its classic Barbaresco and Barolo and its single-vineyard bottling, to its ground-breaking Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, GAJA is a pioneer and guardian of tradition, a legacy that continues to reshape the standard for excellence in the world of winemaking today.
Gaja Ca'Marcanda 'Camarcanda' Bolgheri is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon & 30% Cabernet Franc .
Color : Deep garnet.Aroma : Initial aromas evoke violet, cassis, dark licorice and a spicy note of black pepper, leading to undertones of aromatic herbs, incense, dried rose petals, clove and cedar.Taste : Sleek and intense on entry with elegant herbal, light black pepper and cassis flavors on the mid palate.
After Bolgheri’s torrid and parched 2017 growing season, more moder-ate conditions in 2018 brought the vines and their wines shimmering to life. All of the wines at Ca’Marcanda fermented spontaneously in 2018, which Gaia Gaja attributes to the balance in the musts. This wine, a blend of cabernets sauvignon and franc, is taut and energetic, its flavors of crunchy plum and blackberry laced with notes of licorice, tobacco and graphite.
-Wine & Spirits 96 Points
The Ca' Marcanda estate does not make a Bolgheri Superiore, although this bottle would qualify as such. The 2018 Bolgheri Rosso Camarcanda is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and you definitely feel those full-throttle varietal aromas with big intensity and clarity. Spicy greenness comes forward as grilled rosemary and lavender essence, but the wine boasts nice depth and dimension, and enough textual richness to smooth it all out. This was a slightly cooler vintage with some sporadic rain showers throughout the summer. These conditions might explain the sharper side of those Cabernet aromas. As the wine moves over the palate, it reveals more substantial aromas of black fruit, spice and baker's chocolate. This vintage is slightly thinner than the hot 2017 expression before it and the classic 2016. However, this wine should certainly play forward positively in terms of its aging potential.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
Dense and fluid at once, this red delivers plum, black cherry, licorice, olive, bay leaf and spice flavors. Ripe and balanced, with a lingering, spicy, tobacco-tinged aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2033. 1,500 cases made, 225 cases imported. — BS
-Wine Spectator 95 Points
Gaja Barbaresco is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The flagship of the Gaja family, this wine is produced from Nebbiolo grapes and named for its village of origin. Deep garnet in color, the aroma is complex and sensual with notes of forest fruit, plum, licorice, mineral and coffee. The texture is supple with fine, silky tannins and bright acidity leading to a long finish.
STYLE: Complex, Dense, Structured
FLAVOR: Forest Fruit, Plum, Licorice, Mineral, Coffee
After fermentation is complete, the separate lots are then aged for one year in barriques (20% new, with a balance in one and two year old casks). The 14 lots are then blended and racked to large Slavonian oak casks ranging in age from five to fifteen years.
Fragrant and loaded with extraordinary finesse, this radiant red offers intense aromas of rose, violet, perfumed berry and camphor. The savory palate boasts flavor, energy and almost ethereal elegance, featuring red cherry, raspberry compote and baking spice alongside taut, polished tannins. It closes on a note of star anise while vibrant acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. It’s already enjoyable but will also offer years of fine wining. Drink through 2033.
-Wine Enthusiast 98 Points
G.D. Vajra Barolo Ravera is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The Barolo Ravera shows a striking balance of all tones. Red and dark fruits on the nose are interlaced with mineral hints and the iron tones which are such a signature of Ravera. The wine has brilliant drinkability, with a layered, ample mid palate and a racy finish.
Seamlessly stitched together, the G.D. Vajra 2018 Barolo Ravera reveals tight layering and smooth texture. Fruit comes from an amphitheater of vines with Tortoniana epoch sandstone clay that is typical of parts of Barolo and Novello. What stands out here is the mineral character of the wine. It frames a dark core of plum, dark cherry and soft spice.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94 Points
G.D. Vajra Bricco Delle Viole Barolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The Barolo Bricco delle Viole shows the signature verticality of its vineyard. The wine is beautifully layered and - while restrained as it’s always the case in the youth of Bricco delle Viole - it also shows a complexity of layers with purple flowers, sweet spices and mineral tones. The palate is noble, with a refined acid spine and profound tannins that promise a long aging potential.
Among the historical vineyards of Barolo, Bricco delle Viole is the highest and the closest to the Alps. It rises from 400 to 480 meters above sea level, on the Western ridge of the village. Its name, “Hill of Violets”, originates from the flowers that blossom early here due to the perfect south exposure. Up above the fogs, Bricco delle Viole enjoys the earliest sunrise and the last sunset every day. Thanks to its vines dating back to 1949 and -now- 1931, a dramatic diuturnal temperature range and this pure light, Bricco delle Viole generates a sophisticated and profound Barolo DOCG of bright aromatics, chiseled tannins and subtle minerality. 2018 is a vintage that shows many nuances of Bricco delle Viole: beyond the signature verticality of this site, the wine offers high tones laced with mineral nuances and plenty of energy and youth.
The 2018 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is not super intense, but it is balanced in its own way. The wine is subdued but complete with softly yielding tannins to support an elegantly streamlined mouthfeel. Bricco delle Viole is a high and cool growing site in Barolo at 400 to 480 meters in elevation with characteristic Sant'Agata marl soils with fossils. The wine represents a selection of fruit from over seven hectares. With fermentation in steel tank and aging in large Slavonian oak, you are invited to a silky, lifted and beautifully delicate experience with an accessible personality.
-Wine Advocate 95 Points
An elegant version, this red features rose, black currant, cherry, mineral and a hint of eucalyptus aromas and flavors. Linear in profile, this is solidly built on a graceful frame, with finely woven tannins and vibrant acidity.
- Wine Spectator 95 Points
Luigi Baudana Barolo Cerretta is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Austere and very mineral expression of Barolo. Aromas of dark cherries and raspberries jump out vividly from the glass. Hints of iron, menthol, new leather add to the depth and intrigue of this wine. Refined and polished, Cerretta has an extra layer of tannins, important structure and a lively acidity which are nearly buried by its exquisitely lush fruit.
The 2018 Barolo Cerretta offers good focus with a sharp and linear style that gives way to forest berry, wild rose, rusty nail and crushed stone. The wine is extremely direct, and that's what sets it apart. In that sense, this wine is faithful to the characteristics of Serralunga d'Alba. The soils of Cerretta see a layer of white marl on the surface and red clay further down; that's where those rusty sensations must come from. Best After 2024
-Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 94 Points
Gaja Darmagi Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Angelo Gaja forever changed the world’s notion of Piedmont wines when he released this historic wine for the first time in 1985 (with the 1982 vintage), made from Bordeaux varietals planted in the township of Barbaresco. According to the often told legend, Angelo Gaja’sfather exclaimed “darmagi!” upon learning that his son had planted Cabernet Sauvignon in vineyards previously devoted to Piedmont’s traditional Nebbiolo grape. Akin to the French quel dommage, the Piedmontese expression darmagi means what a pity! Or what a shame!. With his characteristic respect for tradition and those who came before him, the younger Gaja decided to call this wine Darmagi, a homage to his family’s legacy with an eye toward the future.
You'll find more dark fruit and more freshness here than in many of the other offerings from Gaja, with a dark, deep inky appearance. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Darmagi is a 100% expression of the grape, whereas past editions saw tiny parts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The fruit comes from a 2.5-hectare vineyard planted in 1978 directly under the town of Barbaresco, setting the stage for an elegant rendition of Cabernet Sauvignon with a fresh and contained style. The wine shows a nice balance between the extraction you get from the grape skins and the rich succulence you get from the pulp inside the berries. In the 2017, you taste more of the skins, and in the 2018, Gaia Gaja comments, you taste more of the pulp. The 2016 offers both, countering each other with precision. Whole grapes are pressed very gently, and the wine is aged in oak for 18 months, with less emphasis on new oak now. In fact, only 30% of the total sees new oak, and a greater percentage of the wine goes into large oak casks instead.
- Wine Advocate 95 Points
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Origines is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah
Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
Deep and brilliant, purple-red colour. An exciting nose with aromas of black fruit (blackcurrant, cherry) spices and vanilla. This great aromatic complexity is found on the palate : the spices and ripe fruit appear with an elegant woodiness and harmonious tannins. The finish has good aromatic length and introduces a touch of liquorice and pepper.
A terrific Châteauneuf du Pape with great concentration and finesse.
Best between 2 and 20 years. Best to decant if young (less than 5 years old).
Soil type Extreme north of Châteauneuf du Pape. This plateau is made with a high quantity of red clay mixed with rocks. This area is considerated to be one of the best to produce rich and powerful red wines. By definition, LES ORIGINES will always deliver a great complexity and ageing potential. Winemaking & ageing Harvest is sorted by hand, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).
"The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Origines is also deep purple-hued and has a classic bouquet of crème de cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with notions of graphite, chocolate, and spicy wood. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, this is beautifully done and despite its more modern elevage, it has plenty of Provençal character and charm."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 94-96+ pts
"Warm in feel, with a gush of plum puree and blackberry paste flavors, liberally laced with black licorice and roasted alder notes. A solidly built, modern version, with a nice tug of warm earth on the back end. Best from 2022 through 2034. —J.M."
- Wine Spectator's Insider (June 9th 2021), 93 pts