1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#1 Post by Blake Brown »

I’ve long been a fan of Angelo Gaja and his wines even before meeting him at Vinitaly a few decades ago. He is a class act and a framed photo of the 2 of us from that time in Italy hangs proudly in the home.

I consider it a real treat anytime I find a Gaja wine in front of me and here’s a couple of spectacular bottles enjoyed with dinner a few nights ago:

1970 GAJA BARBARESCO- the shorter cork of yesteryear was pulled and the wine was poured into some fine Sophienwald red wine glass stemware; the color was a still somewhat youthful red purple with no bricking; the nose and taste showed mature notes of leather accented red and dark fruit with just a tad of sweetness; it had medium body and weight and held on to provide a splendid finish; basically this is a truly wonderful 50+ year old Nebbiolo wine that has certainly lost some of its power, but retained its finesse and charm and along with its graceful texture to provide an exemplary experience.

GAJA Barbaresco has been hailed as the centerpiece of their entire portfolio and is a testament to the family's historic commitment to the appellation and its belief that Barbaresco stands proudly with the great growing regions of the world. The GAJA winery stopped sourcing fruit from other growers in 1961 in order to ensure the utmost quality in its wines. In all, GAJA Barbaresco is produced using grapes grown in 14 vineyards in the villages of Barbaresco and Treiso.


1989 GAJA SORI SAN LORENZO BARBARESCO- this bottle has not been moved since it was received from the winery after release; note the cork is much longer than the 70`; the nose had inviting aromas of earth, milk chocolate and mature cranberry cherry which continued on to be joined by leather and black currant with red and black cherry most prevalent; the silky smooth mouthfeel was extraordinary for this layered and full bodied beauty; it just had the whole package from really fine fragrances, an amazing taste profile and texture and a long, so welcomed and appreciated finish.

This wine made history when it became one of the earliest single-vineyard bottlings of Nebbiolo in Piedmont with the 1967 vintage. The GAJA family purchased this vineyard from the parish of Alba and named it after San Lorenzo, the patron saint of Alba’s cathedral. The word “sori” means hilltop with southern exposure. Sourced from the GAJA winery’s top growing site, San Lorenzo, located just south of the village of Barbaresco in the famed cru Secondine, the wine is made with 100% Nebbiolo grape, starting with the 2013 vintage.


ABOUT GAJA: The Gaja Winery was founded by Giovanni Gaja in 1859 and has been owned and operated by five generations of the Gaja family. Giovanni Gaja was the great-grandfather of Angelo Gaja, the Winery's current owner.
In 1994, GAJA acquired its first wine estate in Tuscany, Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino. This estate produces three Brunello di Montalcino wines- including the single vineyard Sugarille- from vineyard holdings totaling sixty five acres.
In 1996 Gaja acquired a second property in Tuscany, Ca'Marcanda, located in Castagneto Carducci in Bolgheri. Of the property's 200 acres, 150 have been planted with new vineyards: primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc and Syrah.

Currently, the Gaja Winery owns 250 acres of vineyards in Piedmont, located in the Barbaresco district (Barbaresco and Treiso) and the Barolo district (Serralunga d'Alba and La Morra).

Cheers,
Blake
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Nick Christie
Posts: 646
Joined: November 20th, 2016, 1:37 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Been thanked: 30 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#2 Post by Nick Christie »

Stunning. Absolutely Stunning.

Image

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#3 Post by Blake Brown »

Nick Christie wrote: April 4th, 2021, 6:12 pm Stunning. Absolutely Stunning.
Stunning is a most operative word here Nick.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Nick Christie
Posts: 646
Joined: November 20th, 2016, 1:37 pm
Location: Durham, NC
Been thanked: 30 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#4 Post by Nick Christie »

Blake Brown wrote: April 5th, 2021, 8:29 am
Nick Christie wrote: April 4th, 2021, 6:12 pm Stunning. Absolutely Stunning.
Stunning is a most operative word here Nick.
I love how much Joy you have in your wines, Blake. I am struggling this Spring to keep my optimism up, so it is very invigorating & comforting to have familiar sources posting/imbibing joyous experiences. Little beams of sunlight amidst the chaos.

jon leifer
Posts: 602
Joined: May 11th, 2010, 9:14 pm
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#5 Post by jon leifer »

Blake: thank you for the trip down memory lane..2 of my alltime favorite Italian reds..Regrettably I stopped buying Gaja some years later when the prices started to exceed my pain threshold.
Jon

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#6 Post by Blake Brown »

Nick Christie wrote: April 5th, 2021, 10:52 am
Blake Brown wrote: April 5th, 2021, 8:29 am
Nick Christie wrote: April 4th, 2021, 6:12 pm Stunning. Absolutely Stunning.
Stunning is a most operative word here Nick.
I love how much Joy you have in your wines, Blake. I am struggling this Spring to keep my optimism up, so it is very invigorating & comforting to have familiar sources posting/imbibing joyous experiences. Little beams of sunlight amidst the chaos.
Nick, I am so grateful for your heartfelt remarks. To have tasting notes provide joy to others is extra special as they are really just about expressing the joy experienced in numerous nuances of various wines {and the food and fellowship and the passion and .....}. May little beams of sunlight shine on you throughout each and every day.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#7 Post by Blake Brown »

jon leifer wrote: April 5th, 2021, 5:57 pm Blake: thank you for the trip down memory lane..2 of my alltime favorite Italian reds..Regrettably I stopped buying Gaja some years later when the prices started to exceed my pain threshold.
Jon, I`m so happy this brought back some fond memories for you. As insinuated in my notes, I consider all things Gaja to be in the highest echelon of world class wines and to have the opportunity to have had just a few is extra special.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

jon leifer
Posts: 602
Joined: May 11th, 2010, 9:14 pm
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#8 Post by jon leifer »

Blake: Avatar noted..Full disclosure, I was consulting in Overland Park,Kansas 2003 and watched the SU-KU NCAA final with a number of friends..I live in a suburb of Siberacuse and am an SU fan ..
Jon

Morgan S
Posts: 53
Joined: October 8th, 2020, 7:14 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#9 Post by Morgan S »

close to my first old wine purchase, got a 1961 barbaresco and 1985 sori san lorenzo a few years back from auction. Affirmed my interest in Nebbiolo.

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#10 Post by Blake Brown »

jon leifer wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:00 pm Blake: Avatar noted..Full disclosure, I was consulting in Overland Park,Kansas 2003 and watched the SU-KU NCAA final with a number of friends..I live in a suburb of Siberacuse and am an SU fan ..
Jon, I thanked you for the post, but the not for the memory of a devastating loss. I remember the blocked shot from the corner at the end of the game too well. For the Cuse, it was a Melo ending {as in Carmelo Anthony for those not family with the teams}.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#11 Post by Blake Brown »

Morgan S wrote: April 7th, 2021, 7:37 pm Affirmed my interest in Nebbiolo.
Gaja kind of did that to a lot of us.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

User avatar
Kelly Walker
Posts: 2152
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 19 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#12 Post by Kelly Walker »

I have fond memories of every last bottle of the 1989 SSL from a full OWC. A truly special wine. Wish I had more.

BTW, Carmelo Anthony is a HUGE Burgundy guy.
“It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”
Vladimir Lenin
"Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners"
George Carlin

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#13 Post by Blake Brown »

Just have to add this 1996 photo from the reference in the initial notes to complete the tributes to Gaja here:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

Barry L i p t o n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3652
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:59 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 25 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#14 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Never quite got over it when they started adding barbera to the Barbaresco

User avatar
Blake Brown
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 7064
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 11:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara
Has thanked: 246 times
Been thanked: 82 times

Re: 1970 Gaja and 1989 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo

#15 Post by Blake Brown »

Barry L i p t o n wrote: April 9th, 2021, 11:52 pm Never quite got over it when they started adding barbera to the Barbaresco
I just searched for some info about this and here's what I found:

"Since the 1996 vintage, the wines have used the ‘Langhe’ denomination, after Angelo Gaja decided that they would benefit from up to 15% of Barbera grapes in the final blend.

‘Every generation has its own path to follow and has the right to do things in its own way,’ Gaia Gaja told Decanter.com.

‘Above all [with this decision], we want to pursue the pure expression of the Nebbiolo variety,’ she said.

It was not a decision taken against her father’s will, she added. ‘It’s a decision we long thought about and to which we’ve come thanks also to the support of our father [Angelo Gaja].’"
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".
Napolean Bonaparte

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!” – Winston Churchill

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”