TN: Tasting with Gaia Gaja

TASTING WITH GAIA GAJA - Gaja Winery in Barbaresco (7/6/2016)

Photos and much more about the winery on my website:

  • 2013 Gaja Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Pop and pour. Bottled just a week before. Gaia says 2013 is a cool vintage for Barbaresco. The nose is somewhat muted, but shows a gorgeous array of flowers and cherries. Ethereal and expressive in the mouth. Cherries and spice. So soft and sweet in the mouth. Good potential here for the next 20 years or so. (94-?? pts.)
  • 2012 Gaja Barolo Dagromis - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Pop and pour. Sweet cherry nose. Smooth and rich with soft tannins. Easy to drink right now. Should continue to drink well for 10 years or so. No Sperss or Conteisa was made in 2012. (91 pts.)
  • 2011 Gaja Langhe Nebbiolo Sperss - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Open the day before. Noticeably darker color than the previous two. Black fruit nose. Quite extracted and powerful. Long, rich, tannic. Simply amazing wine with a great future. This will be the last vintage with Barbera in it. (95-?? pts.)
  • 1989 Gaja Langhe Chardonnay Gaia & Rey - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Opened 2 days before. That’s right. A 27 year old chardonnay open for 2 days and served after the reds. Fresh lemony peaches in the nose. Rich, complex, very long. Just a stunning wine. Expansive and compelling. Minerals that go on forever. If you told me this was a great white Burgundy, I’d believe you. (96 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Nice report. Gaia spent a little time working here in the Bay Area at the Wine Club Santa Clara about 15 years ago. Did some nice tasting of their wines at the time.

I’m curious – does anyone on WB buy Gaja wines?

I bought a few when they were 25% of their current prices

I bought a case of their 85 Barbaresco for $300… for the case. I still buy the Barbaresco and Sperss sometimes.

A friend and I bought three '82 Sori San Lorenzos at an Acker auction back around 2005 at $260/bottle. But I’m not at all sure those were the real thing.

Ken, it’s always nice to taste with Gaia, as she’s such a delightful person and a great representative of the house. We tasted a bunch of the 2013’s with her this fall on her marketing trip, which amazingly included Minneapolis. I definitely liked them, but the price is steep for new release. We also drank a few bottles of the 2014 Gaia & Rey, which was very classy and I loved it. I’d only had it once before (the 2005) and really liked it then as well. She also brought a couple bottles of 58 Barbaresco to a party this fall, and while sadly one was corked, the other was lovely.
John, good question. My last purchases of, say, a case quantity (vs. a bottle or two) were the 1996 and 1997 vintages.

I’ve never bought on release, but Gaja is on my auction radar and I’ve bought small lots here and there to count over a case (some of which have been consumed). I did buy the inaugural Brunelli on release from the project there. Those were tasty.


I don’t buy new release. That being said I buy lots of older Gaja. The wines from 58-78 at this point are knockouts and very consistent. And backfilling more recent vintages as well. Really great wines. Ken thanks for the great report.

I was curious because the bottles often sit on shelves for a long time and someone at a retailer told me that the distributor urges retailers to stock a few. I wonder who’s buying the current releases?

Is the Gaja and Rey an 89 or a 99? Gaja wines are great though overpriced. Gaja and Rey however is a very very special wine and in my opinion shows very nicely against top white burgs! Their best wine in my opinion! My2cents

At first, I wondered why you asked since it says 1989, then I realized my arithmetic was wrong. blush

Fixed now.

Here’s a short post on our lunch. No wine notes.