2016 Gaja Barbaresco Piedmont
Winemakers Notes: Immediately rich and complex, with racy violet, rose, black cherry and dark licorice, complemented by notes of white pepper, cloves and soft leather. An intriguing mineral character adds to the bouquet. Full and mouth-coating on entry and throughout the mid-palate, the wine shows layers of ripe, dark and juicy fruits, black cherry, plum and sweet blueberry. Licorice and dark chocolate notes further enhance the complexity. A hallmark of this wine in great vintages is the laser-perfect balance of acidity and tannin, giving freshness and incredible length to the finish. Well-integrated oak amplifies the structure without interfering with its elegance and drinkability.
Barbaresco is a great food wine. Traditionally served with roasted braised meat such as beef, pork and boar, Barbaresco is actually very versatile: owing to its high acidity and red fruit profile. It pairs well with roasted chicken, veal, game birds and even seafood. Heartier pasta and risotto dishes are other obvious pairings, as are aged Italian cheeses.
Wine Enthusiast - "Aromas of rose, red berry and eucalyptus mingle with whiffs of exotic spice on the gorgeous, fragrant red. Loaded with finesse and tension, the elegant, structured palate delivers crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise set against fresh acidity and taut, lithe tannins. It’s already compelling, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2036."
Robert Parker - "I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can't claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine's future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine's carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait."
James Suckling - "This is all about finesse with power. Such great length here with ever so refined tannins and precise strawberry, cedar, dried-rose and mineral character. Medium body. Fresh and vivid finish. Hard not to drink now, but wait until at least 2021."
Wine Spectator - "This gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043."
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