In 1988, GAJA purchased the Sperss vineyard in Barolo, which sits on the historic and celebrated Marenca-Rivetta site in Serralunga, and since that time, Sperss has grown to be almost as collectable as Gaja's signature Barbarescos. Gaja Sperss, named after the Piemontese word for "nostalgia," comes from a single Langhe vineyard, and while it's customarily dense and massive, the '10 vintage is surprisingly nuanced, deft and classic. Offering juicy red Nebbiolo fruit, a waft of smoke, a dusting of earth, a handful of fresh-cut herbs and a fresh menthol quality, the '10 Sperss is more or less elegance incarnate. It's fair to say that this '10 Sperss ushers in a classic Barolo-style bottling, a wine that's pure, elegant, finessed and complex.
While rooted in the tradition of the Langhe, Angelo Gaja has enriched this foundation with an openminded sensibility that marries traditional practices and technological innovation, thereby extending Piemonte’s international reach. His philosophy recognizes the Nebbiolo grape’s inherent capacity for creative expression, which enables it to accommodate the market’s desire for both oak-driven and tannic styles. (That said, however, it is important to note that his wines are never obfuscated by over-extraction or oak.) Though he has his detractors, their opposition has proved innocuous, as Gaja’s wines rival the world’s most acclaimed and sought-after bottlings. While regarded as expensive on release, they continue to appreciate, trading at premium prices and invariably elevating the price standard in Piemonte. The Gaja estate’s qualitative supremacy and cachet are not solely attributable to Angelo. In fact, his father’s 1961 Barbaresco may be the most profound bottling of its designat
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