The name Gaja is synonymous with outstanding Barbaresco, as it represents the wine estate’s ever-evolving legacy of quality. The wines of Gaja rival the world’s most acclaimed and sought-after wine bottlings. While regarded as expensive upon release, Gaja wines continue to appreciate, trading at premium prices and invariably elevating the price standard in Piemonte.
The Gaja 1961 Barbaresco, produced by Angelo’s father, may be the most profound bottling of its designation ever to be produced. It also represents Angelo’s final collaboration with his father before assuming direction of the estate and launching a new stylistic orientation.
Angelo Gaja authored Barbaresco’s rise to fame through a rigorous and continually evolving viticultural regimen. His early efforts included the reduction of crop size, shortened pruning of Nebbiolo vines, and decreased fermentation periods. The 1975 vintage marked his inaugural use of small French oak barrels, and he is widely regarded as having instituted this signature practice of the modernist movement, thereby softening the formidable tannins of the Nebbiolo grape and producing a wine that is richer and more expressive of its fruit than traditional models.
Angelo Gaja honors his winemaking heritage in this traditional Barbaresco bottling. This Barbaresco constitutes the sole “proper” Barbaresco in Gaja’s wine portfolio, as it is a pure-varietal expression of the Nebbiolo grape. Of significant interest is the fact that he continues to employ some of the largest and oldest botti in Piemonte to craft this traditional-style Barbaresco—an homage to both his grandfather and father. Nevertheless, following a maceration period of three weeks, Gaja matures his straight Barbaresco in barrique for a period of 12 months; thereafter, the wine sees an equivalent period in botti (cask).
Though Gaja is considered a pioneer for his work in the vinification of single-vineyard wines—Sorì San Lorenzo, Sorì Tilden, and Costa Russi—his straight Barbaresco bottling remains a classic representation of traditional Barbaresco, one that is crafted for long-term aging.
Vineyard: 14 different sites
Classification: Barbaresco DOCG
Case Production: 5,000