2021 Rossj-Bass displays the main features of the vintage well, with intense fruit concentration and floral notes. The nose shows ripe citrus notes of lemon peel and orange evolving into tropical fruits. The richness of the nose and the same notes are reflected on the palate, where remarkable acidity balances the fruit concentration. The wine is rich, full-bodied and creamy, with a long finish.
The 2021 Gaja Rossj-Bass starts off with very, crisp, green fruit and much more Sauvignon Blanc dominant aromas of grassy, bright, fragrant green apple and green pepper - all very bright and cheerful. Then Chardonnay seems to take over in the medium-full bodied and pleasing creamy texture of the wine. This is balanced again by the tangy, juicy acidity of Sauvignon. This is very elegant blend of Sauvignon Blanc aromas and zestiness and the textural comfort of Chardonnay. The name Rossj is a nickname of Angelo Gaja’s second daughter, Rossanna.
-Wine Independent 94 Points
Gaja Sito Moresco Rosso Langhe is made from 35% Nebbiolo, 25% Merlot, 25% Barbera, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Sito Moresco is named for the family who farmed this 25-acre estate in Barbaresco before its purchase by the Gaja family, a nod to the people and traditions that preceded it. It means literally the Moresco site, after the family name of Giovannini Moresco. GAJA created this red blend to deliver greater approachability in its youth. Sito Moresco is made from vineyards located in the villages of Treiso and Barbaresco (in the Barbaresco appellation) and fruit from Serralunga d’Alba (in the Barolo appellation). Pheasants are featured on Sito Moresco's label to commemorate the beautiful birds that inhabit the forests adjacent to GAJA's vineyards. Concentration of fruit, structure and acidity are the highlights of the vintage.
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 Costa Russi Nebbiolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Costa (Italian for the side of the hill facing the sun) Russi (the nickname of the former owner) is ruby red in color, with a captivating aroma of blackberries, violets and roasted coffee beans. The purity of the palate is layered with dark fruit flavors and complex tannins.
STYLE: Complex, Elegant
FLAVOR: Blackberry, Violet, Roasted Coffee Beans
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a more floral, sappy Barbaresco, offering textbook notes of black cherries, rose petals, sappy herbs, and violets. It's one of the more vibrant, juicy, and perfumed wines in the lineup and has medium to full body, bright yet integrated acidity, and the same incredibly polished yet certainly present tannins found in all these 2016s. This is another elegant 2016 that never puts a foot wrong.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98+ Points
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is ripe, creamy and enveloping, as it so often is, and yet also preserves the super classic sense of structure that runs through all these wines. In 2016, Costa Russi has an extra touch of mid-palate sweetness that gives the wine its sense of immediacy. Succulent red cherry, rosewater, kirsch, mint and dried flowers meld together in the glass. Soft and sensual, with tons of allure, Costa Russi is another winner from Gaja. Time in the glass brings out the wine's density and tannins, both of which it has in spades.
- Antonio Galloni 98
This delicate red features floral, strawberry, cherry, currant and loamy earth aromas and flavors, showing terrific balance. A line of firm tannins adds support, and the finish is long and expansive. Best from 2023 through 2045. 175 cases imported.
-Wine Spectator 97 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
Kershaw Chardonnay Deconstructed Lake District Cartref CY96 is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Sourced from the western part of Elgin, known as the Lake District, this clone produces wines that are nervous, aromatic, elegant and sharp with slightly lower alcohol and finely balanced, the fruit profile being subtle with hints of citrus/orange peel and peach blossom and with time, some nutty elements. The Cartref soils, a mixture of decomposed granite, pebbles and quartz, adds delicacy and heightens the fruit intensity.
The inspiration for my Deconstructed Chardonnay stems from my belief that the Elgin region boasts credentials that make it world-class. To bolster these regional credentials, I have set out to prove that Elgin has both a signature grape, as well as specific ‘terroirs’ (meso-climates) that reflect intra-regional distinctions. To fully comprehend this, it is necessary to dig deeper into the DNA that make up our region. To elucidate this, I have decided to make these 3 Chardonnay wines, each selected from a specific vineyard and an individual clone. Importantly, this is an ongoing story that will unfold over the coming years.
Whilst 2017 experienced a cool winter to enable good vine dormancy, the rainfall was low and followed similar conditions felt in 2015 and 2016. Budbreak took place in ideal warm sunny conditions whilst flowering was a touch earlier than normal; strong blustery winds meant pollination took longer to complete. As a result, berry set was uneven leading to some smaller berries that despite a lower yield did have good concentration of flavours. Despite expecting an
early harvest an unusually cool December slowed down ripening whilst some January rain during veraison helped nourish the soils and more importantly, helped the vine focus on grape ripening rather than foliage & root growth. Harvest took place under blue skies in
mid-March. The net result of the drier year is that the grapes had decent natural acidity, achieved steady phenolic ripeness and plenty of intense fruit flavors.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early autumnal mornings, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 580 litres per ton was obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking and bottling.
"A single clone (96) grown on a single parcel from a single vineyard of Cartref soils (decomposed granite and quartz). Roasted grain, wet stones, and lemon peel aromas. Precise and tightly coiled with an intense mineral character and yellow fruit and citrus zest flavors finishing with a smoky gunflint note. Matured in 50% new oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
Gaja Gaia & Rey Langhe Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The winery's historic Gaia & Rey Chardonnay is a wine that not only reshaped the legacy of the house itself, but also redefined Piedmont as one of the truly great winemaking regions of the world. Named after Lucia and Angelo Gaja's daughter, Gaia Gaja, and Angelo Gaja's grandmother Clotilde Rey (the family's great matriarch and one of its most forward-thinking visionaries), Gaia & Rey was first bottled in 1983 and released the following year. With this historic bottling, Angelo Gaja showed the world that exceptional white wines could be produced in the Langhe Hills, where red wines had been produced almost exclusively before. He also delivered to the world what is now considered one of the greatest white wines of Europe, a truly remarkable accomplishment in a country where red grapes have historically dominated the realm of fine wine. The 2017 vintage proves that great quality sometimes comes from scarcity. Three days of frost at the end of April set back the crop size by 10 percent, then high heat in summer and lack of rainfall presented challenges in managing the vineyards. The good news is that with strict selection and our no-compromise approach, the fruit harvested was healthy and excellent white wines were the result, despite the drop in production.
This wine was first made in 1983, and back then, no malolactic fermentation occurred. Jump forward in time to the 2017 Langhe Gaia & Rey, and this is another vintage in which malo did not start. (Partial malolactic returns in 2018). Since those first years of production, the oak usage has also been tweaked, now with less barrique in favor of more botte grande. Thanks to these changes, the aromatic profile of this wine veers toward citrus and rich tropical fruit, especially in a warm vintage such as this. However counterintuitive, this edition also shows a very bright and precise touch of acidity that serves to give the wine balanced and mouth-cleansing salinity.
- Wine Advocate 93+ 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.
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2020 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue comes bounding out with energetic notes of black cherry compote, black raspberries, and pomegranate with a beautiful undercurrent of violets and dark chocolate. The full-bodied palate is vibrant and pure, with fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, finishing very long and perfumed. This is perhaps the best 2020 Pinot I've tasted!
-Wine Independent 96 Points
Rioja Oriental is blessed with a warm, dry Mediterranean-influenced climate (unlike Rioja’s west, where the climate is more continental). The soils, formed by carbonate sedimentation with diverse colluviums containing deposits of volcanic ophite, quartz, and sandstone, covered with carbonate clay, sand, and silt. At varying depths, there is a poor, cold horizon containing petrocalcic calcium (calcium carbonate) with a distinctive white color—this is prized by many for its ability to impart a mineral-driven finesse to the wine.
Rioja’s eastern-most district is often described as flatter than its western counterpart but make no mistake—there is significant elevation here. The grapes for Propiedad represent the pinnacle expressions of Palacios Remondo’s terroir and come from three estate vineyards: Las Mulgas, Valviejo and Corral Serrano Viejo.
The soils between 0.5 and 2 meters thick are from the Quaternary Period, formed by carbonate sedimentation with colluviums of very diverse origin, containing volcanic ophite, quartz, sandstone, etc. covered with carbonate clay, sand, and silt. The exposure is east/northeast on the Yerga Mountain slopes with vineyard heights reaching between 400-640 meters (1,321-2,099 feet) above sea level with a vine age of 30-94 years old. The grapes were harvested between Sept. 28th and Oct. 6th.
The grapes were destemmed, crushed, and fermented with native yeasts in wooden vats with gentle cap immersion. Maceration took place over 35 days followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrel. Aging was 10 months in fudres and bocoyes (wooden cask) followed by fining but no filtration.
Propiedad is quite elegant but has remarkable concentration. Dried herbs, strawberry, blueberry, and baking spices ripple over subtle earthy notes and fine-grained tannins. The palate is seamless and beautifully balanced, sporting a mineral verve and seductive mouthfeel. Will age beautifully for a decade or longer.
The old-vine Garnacha 2017 Propiedad was produced with grapes coming from organically farmed vineyards in Las Mulgas, Valfrío, Valviejo and Corral de Serrano in Alfaro, vineyards that are organically farmed. The destemmed and crushed grapes fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured in larger oak vats (mostly 5,000-liter) for 12 months. It has the Mediterranean profile of the vintage with some jovial notes of orange peel and red cherries intermixed with aromatic herbs. The palate reveals fine-grained, slightly dusty tannins. The palate has more freshness than what you expect from the notes on the nose. This wine has a good evolution in bottle even in warmer years like this or 2015.
-Wine Advocate 94 Points
A super elegant and silky Rioja with delicate red fruit and milk chocolate aromas, rather than the blueberry and bitter chocolate of so many modern wines from here. Lingering, filigree finish that draws you back to the glass.
-James Suckling 94 Points