Gaja Barbaresco and White Truffle Wine Tasting with Special Guest Dr. Robert Maliner
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 07:30 PM
This Event has been read: 870 times.
"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."
There is nothing that is quite as decadent as white truffles but if you are going to pair a wine with this unique culinary experience Nebbiolo would be my first, second and third choice. The Piedmont is one of the world's most unique grape growing regions and is the only area where the Nebbiolo varietal makes a high-quality age worthy wine. This is also the only part of the world where you find the white truffle. These truly unique fungi are not only very intense in flavor but also incredibly expensive pound for pound the most expensive food in the world today. This is one of the only times when it comes to food and wine where the food almost always costs more than the wine here at our “Once in a Lifetime” events at the Wine Watch.
Join us as we experience one of the rare culinary treats alongside one of the great wine producers of the Piedmont with a selection of every top wine that Angelo Gaja makes in the Piedmont along with one of the great older vintage wines from this producer- Gaja Barbaresco Vecchia Reserva, In the 40’s and 50’s Gaja’s top Barbaresco was the Vecchia Riserva, a selection of the best lots that were given long aging on large Slavokian barrels. Since no vintage appeared on the label, one cannot be sure whether a given bottle is from the 1940’s or 1950’s but its production ended by 1956. Bottles of Vecchia Riserva drunk over the years have consistently been a great bottle of old Barbaresco. Toni Lampasone will be making a special tasting menu to accompany the tasting wines. The fee for this event is $495.00 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail email@example.com.
Gaja and Friends and White Truffle Dinner at Wine Watch
Saturday, November 21st, 2020
2007 Gaja Gaia & Rey Chardonnay
Pre-1956 Gaja Barbaresco Vecchia Reserva
1970 Gaja Barbaresco Infernot Riserva
1990 Gaja Barbaresco
1990 Dante Revetti Barbaresco Bricco de Neive Riserva
1990 Marchesi Di Gresy Barbaresco Camp Gros Martinenga
1996 Barolo Brunate Marcarini
1998 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi
2007 Gaja Costa Russi
2007 Gaja Sori Tildin
2007 Gaja Sori San Lorenzo
Parmesan Reggiano and Prociutto di Parma
Egg Flan with White Truffle
Taglielini Pasta with White Truffle and Kerry Gold Butter
Wahoo Sashimi with Fontodi Olive Oil and White Truffles
Roasted Veal Loin with White Truffle Creme Sauce and mashed Potatos
The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $495 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know when you make your reservation if you do NOT like veal and Toni will be glad to make you chicken.
A bit about Gaja Winery:
He has been called a restless genius; others have been less charitable in their characterizations of Angelo Gaja (pronounced GUY-YAH). Gaja is a fourth generation winegrower from Barbaresco, one of Italy's premier wine districts in Piedmont in northern Italy. As controversial as Angelo Gaja is, nobody disputes his great talents as a winemaker or his ability to generate interest in his wines. Gaja in his relatively short career has become the highest profile grower in Piedmont as well as Italy's most famous winemaker. He has accomplished this through consummate skill at both winemaking and public relations. He describes himself as "vain"; we translate that to mean that he is not the least bit reluctant to be an unabashed publicist for his own wines. Gaja has traveled extensively throughout the world hyping the Gaja name while also trying to learn more about how he might apply new technology in order to improve his own wines. He first visited California for this purpose in 1974, and it is presumed that it was there that he became fascinated with the "barrique" concept - the idea of aging his reds in small oak barrels. He has broken new ground in many areas, and even his critics begrudgingly admit that the results speak for themselves. Gaja is now regarded as Piedmont's leading producer of Barbaresco, and his wines command prices that rival those charged anywhere in the world.
The Gaja firm has been bottling wines since the early 1900's; in 1964 a decision was made to contract the size of the Gaja winery and produce only wines from the winery's own vineyards. The fact that the Gaja winery produces only estate wines is a most salient point in the gospel according to Gaja, for he feels that the consumer is willing to pay more for "authentic Gaja". Gaja is the largest private owner of vineyards in the Barbaresco zone with 153 acres. About half the annual Gaja production of 22,000 cases is Barbaresco - the rest is split between Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, a nouveau-style Nebbiolo called Vinot, several Chardonnays, a Cabernet, and a Barolo. The Cabernet and Chardonnay have been very controversial in this part of Italy where tradition and conservative values reign supreme. To plant foreign grapes in Barbaresco was heresy to some; but Gaja defends against those charges by pointing out that in the 1890's - before phylloxera destroyed the vineyards - there were Cabernet and Chardonnay vines planted in Piedmont. Even the retired Giovanni Gaja, Angelo Gaja's father (who is now said to like the Cabernet planted in the Gaja vineyards), referred to the Cabernet plantings as "darmagi" - "such a pity." He felt that it was a pity that Cabernet - not the native Nebbiolo - was being planted in a prime vineyard site by his son. The name stuck, and Gaja's Cabernet is called Darmagi. We have tasted the Chardonnay and the Cabernet with Gaja and on several other occasions and have been impressed with their quality; their price, however, is extremely ambitious.
In 1988 Gaja purchased a Barolo vineyard in the Marenca e Rivette area of the village of Serralunga. The property was well known to Gaja, for his father often purchased fruit from this vineyard in order to produce Barolo in the 1940's and 1950's. This long standing desire to return to Barolo was reflected in the name Gaja selected for the Barolo. The name "Sperss" is an expression in Piedmontese dialect that translates to "profound longing or nostalgia" (in this case nostalgia for Barolo.) The first two releases - the 1988 and 1989 Sperss - have met extraordinary critical reception. The 1989 was selected as the number two wine in the TOP 100 wines of 1993 and scored a (96) in The Wine Spectator!
Gaja has made his name with Barbaresco. Both Barbaresco and Barolo are produced from the Nebbiolo grape within a few miles of each other in Piedmont. Gaja ages his Barbaresco in small new oak barrels, and he manages to produce a wine that takes on a certain subtlety and suppleness without losing the personality of the Nebbiolo grape. One way Gaja manages to do this is by steam cleaning the inside of his brand new oak barrels in order to remove some of the oak extract they might otherwise impart to the new wine - a rather shocking technique that works! His Barbarescos have a unique personality for other reasons as well. He picks his grapes late for more extract and color, but he also strives to produce a harmonious wine with more aroma and flavor and less tannin. These and many other factors are what make Gaja Barbarescos unique and sought out by connoisseurs all over the world. In addition to Gaja's regular Barbaresco, he bottles three "crus" - but only in great years. His single vineyard Barbarescos - "Sorì San Lorenzo", "Sorì Tildìn", and "Costa Russi" - are quite possibly the best produced in Italy and among the world's noblest red wines. Over the past decade Angelo Gaja has really excelled with his Barbaresco - producing fabulous world-class wines in vintages such as 1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and this 2001. The Piedmont has seen an unprecedented string of outstanding vintage from 1996-2001. All three of Gaja's single cru Barbarescos rated a (95) or better in The Wine Spectator; in both 1996 & 1997 and in 1998 two of the three rated (95) or better, an incredible track record for the last three releases. Generally of the three crus produced by Gaja, the Sorì San Lorenzo is the slowest maturing, the longest-lived, and the least approachable in its youth. The Costa Russi is the most approachable when young, while the Sorì Tildìn falls between the two.
In The Gambero Rosso (the Italian wine Bible) Gaja is the only producer in the Piedmont with a rating of “Two Stars”, indicating the number of times his wines have received the coveted “Three Glass” award. Gaja’s wines have received twenty-one (a star for every ten “Three Glass” wine). They call Gaja “Here we are in the presence of what is undoubtedly the best Italian winery, to judge from the quality of its wines; colleagues and wine critics from all over the world admit as much.”
ALL the Gaja wines that we have available in the store:
2018 Gaja Ca'Marcanda Vistamare
Price: $57.00 Your Price: $50.16
Generous bouquet of peach, apricot, sage and marine notes revealing a fresh, rounded and lingering taste in the mouth. The freshness and herbaceous notes of Vermentino combine with the remarkable complexity and roundess of Viognier.
The playful name of this wine was inspired by the sea breeze, sun, and cheerful, lighthearted outlook of the Tuscan coast. "Vistamare" means sea view and is often used by the coastal hoteliers to entice would-be guests, even though their rooms may only offer a limited view of the Mediterranean. The vineyards used for Vistamare actually enjoy a panoramic view of the Tuscan horizon and their grapes are gently touched by salty air and the brilliant colors of the the Tuscan sea.
2016 Gaja Alteni Di Brassica Sauvignon Blanc Langhe
Price: $150.00 Your Price: $132.00
Alteni di Brassica combines the classic herbaceous and aromatic qualities of the grape variety with the elegance and refinement of the GAJA style. Pheasants are featured on Alteni di Brassica's label to commemorate the beautiful birds that inhabit the forests adjacent to GAJA's vineyards. The color is golden and the wine opens with intense spicy notes of sage, white pepper and sweet licorice. Then, it evolves into its fruitier character with ripe notes of citron, lemon peel, grapefruit, pear and nectarine. The 2016 is well-balanced by the remarkable fruit concentration. Powerful and nuanced, this wine reaches a high level of complexity. Thanks to the bright acidity and salinity, Alteni di Brassica shows great energy and tension.
2017 Gaja RossJ Bass Chardonnay Langhe
Price: $117.00 Your Price: $102.96 Quantity in Stock: 4
Golden in color, the nose opens with a floral character (jasmine and daisies), followed by fresh notes of green almond, sage, thyme and green tea leaves. On the entry, the wine is luscious, with juicy notes of nectarine, pear, mango and pineapple. The bright acidity refreshes the palate, finishing with mineral and balsamic notes of flint, mint and fern.
2017 Gaja Chardonnay Gaia and Rey Langhe
Price: $318.75 Your Price: $280.50 Quantity in Stock: 5
The winery's historic Gaia & Rey Chardonnay is a wine that not only reshaped the legacy of the house itself, but also redefined Piedmont as one of the truly great winemaking regions of the world. Named after Lucia and Angelo Gaja's daughter, Gaia Gaja, and Angelo Gaja's grandmother Clotilde Rey (the family's great matriarch and one of its most forward-thinking visionaries), Gaia & Rey was first bottled in 1983 and released the following year.
With this historic bottling, Angelo Gaja showed the world that exceptional white wines could be produced in the Langhe Hills, where red wines had been produced almost exclusively before. He also delivered to the world what is now considered one of the greatest white wines of Europe, a truly remarkable accomplishment in a country where red grapes have historically dominated the realm of fine wine. The 2017 vintage proves that great quality sometimes comes from scarcity. Three days of frost at the end of April set back the crop size by 10 percent, then high heat in summer and lack of rainfall presented challenges in managing the vineyards. The good news is that with strict selection and our no-compromise approach, the fruit harvested was healthy and excellent white wines were the result, despite the drop in production.
2017 Gaja Sito Moresco
Price: $57.75 Your Price: $50.82
2017 Gaja Sito Moresco Magnum
Price: $172.50 Your Price: $151.80
2016 Gaja Sito Moresco
Price: $57.75 Your Price: $50.82
Angelo Gaja is known for producing elegant, opulent wines that are true to their origins. He is a pioneer in the production of single-vineyard wines in Piedmont. Several estate-owned vineyards provide the grapes for Sito Moresco, among which is the twenty-five-acre Sito Moresco vineyard in Barbaresco. The name means "Moresco's site" and refers to the former owner of this vineyard Sito Moresco combines complexity and longevity with refinement and accessibility. Ruby red in color, this wine offers a pure nose with aromas of small fruits. On the palate, it is elegant and balanced with fine tannins and a fresh finish.
2017 Gaja Barbaresco
Price: $315.00 Your Price: $277.20
(95 Points) The Gaja 2017 Barbaresco is nuanced and delicate with ever-expanding aromatic intensity that amply fills the balloon of your glass. The wine takes a little while to open fully, and it slowly releases forest berry, powdered licorice, toasted aniseed, spearmint, dried lavender and rosemary essence to build a lasting bouquet. The mouthfeel is streamlined and almost steely, with an extremely linear approach that adds to its length and persistency. The tannins are tucked into the wine's delicate fiber, but you do feel the extra textural firmness of the hot vintage nonetheless. As we have seen in past vintages, more definition is added by a pretty mineral note that is a common thread in these wines from Gaja. Production is 38,000 bottles. - Wine Advocate
2010 Gaja Barbaresco
Price: $295.00 Sale Price: $240.00 Quantity in Stock: 3
(94 Points) Smack from the start, the 2010 Barbaresco shows full-on Gajissimo personality with irresistible opulence and intensity, magically contrasted against remarkable smoothness and finesse. Everyone wants to know his secret. The wine delivers seductively rich concentration and integrated oak that is offset by a delicate portfolio of chiseled mineral, dried berry fruit, Spanish cedar, crushed herb, anisette and blue flower. Fruit is sourced from 14 vineyards in Barbaresco. It already leaves a mark, but will reward those who wait. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2016 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo Magnum
Price: $1665.00 Your Price: $1465.20
(98 Points) If the Barbaresco Costa Russi expresses itself with purity and grace, the 2016 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo struts out stacked and tall. It has firmer textural support and is not as timid or as withholding as the Costa Russi. The Sorì San Lorenzo site is located closest to the warm air currents that travel down the Tanaro River valley, and this vineyard site is always the first to ripen and be harvested. You get a stronger mineral note here with iron rust, pencil shaving and potting soil intertwined with the primary fruit, showing dazzlingly intricate complexity and depth. This vineyard site suffered in the 2017 vintage from some hail damage that hit on July 19. The quality of fruit is expected to be good, Gaia Gaja tells me, but yields will be reduced next year. August 2019 Week 2, The Wine Advocate
2015 Gaja Dagromis Barolo
Price: $100.50 Your Price: $88.44
Intense red. This wine is already showing more intense and fruit-forward aromas than in past years. Very fresh notes of blood orange, bitter orange, tangerine and dark red fruits are intermingled with fresh earth, anise seed and herb. The palate is fresh and juicy, with a mouth-filling texture and firm but balanced tannins and acidity. Attractive richness showing red-tone fruits, berry, pomegranate, wild strawberry combine with vibrant acidity in a mid-weight, sleek style.
2015 Gaja Barolo Conteisa
Price: $303.75 Your Price: $267.30
(96 Points) The large shoulders of this warm 2015 vintage contrast sharply with the delicate nuances of the 2016 Barbarescos also released now from Gaja. The 2015 Barolo Conteisa is intense, with a background chorus of plum, prune, herb, mint and wild cherry. It's a very balanced Barolo. The Cerequio vineyard that provides this fruit often suffers from hail damage because the vineyard is located along the corridor of bad weather that comes over the hill from La Morra. There was some damage in mid-August, but fruit in the 2016 vintage suffered much more extensively in comparison. In fact, so little fruit was saved that Gaia Gaja is pretty sure this wine will not be produced next vintage. She tells me that they are now experimenting with anti-hail netting at this site—an eyesore they had long hoped to avoid. August 2019 Week 2, The Wine Advocate
2014 Gaja Conteisa Langhe Nebbiolo
Price: $372.50 Your Price: $327.80
(95 Points) The 2014 Barolo Conteisa is an impressive wine that defies the odds of the vintage. Although the Cerequio vineyard did not suffer hail in 2014 (it did in 2016), grape production was reduced by half anyway. The remaining grapes delivered their best with intense flavors and crisp contours. Gaia Gaja tells me that the clusters harvested were perfect in appearance. This is a perfumed wine that offers defined aromas of wild cherry that rise to the top with intensity. The wine's tonality is dark and thick, and the tannins are full and structured. 237, The Wine Advocate
2014 Gaja Sperss Langhe
Price: $322.50 Your Price: $283.80 Quantity in Stock: 5
(94 Points) This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. But Serralunga d'Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2013 Gaja Darmagi Cabernet Langhe
Price: $322.50 Your Price: $283.80
2004 Pieve Di Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
Price: $333.00 Your Price: $283.05
(93 Points) The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is gorgeous in this vintage. Medium in body, the wine offers up attractive scents of underbrush, red cherries, tobacco, leather and licorice, all of which are framed by silky, ripe tannins. The wine reveals tons of purity and class in an understated style. As is often the case, the Rennina is the more feminine of the estate’s Brunellos. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2022.
Angelo Gaja’s wines from Montalcino seem to get far less attention than his wines from Piedmont and Maremma, but they can equally compelling. Gaja did not produce his Brunellos in 2002 or 2003 which demonstrates his commitment to putting only the finest juice in the bottle. 29th Jun 2009, Source 183, The Wine Advocate
2007 Pieve di Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
Price: $309.00 Your Price: $262.65
(94 Points) The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina flows across the palate with layers of sensual, perfumed fruit. Soft, gracious and impeccably balanced, the 2007 Rennina impresses for its overall harmony and sense of grace. Sweet red berries, crushed flowers and spices wrap around the feminine finish. This is a very pretty not to mention hugely appealing wine from Pieve Santa Restituta. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.
I tasted an amazing range of wines at Pieve Santa Restituta, including the 1996 and 1997 Brunello di Montalino Rennina, both of which have aged beautifully and show no signs of fading. Those wines were some of the first the Gaja family made in Montalcino, when they had far less experience than they do today. I have little doubt today’s wines are going to be even better. Pieve Santa Restituta sometimes gets lost in the Gaja lineup, but the estate’s best Brunelli are easily among the finest in the entire appellation. Readers who want to learn more about the property may want to check out my video interview with Gaia Gaja on www.erobertparker.com 25th Apr 2012, 200, The Wine Advocate
2011 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
Price: $190.50 Your Price: $152.40 Quantity in Stock: 3
(94 Points) The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is made from a blend of fruit from three different vineyard parcels. The sites total 25 hectares, with 15 located next to the church, or the Pieve, after which this estate is named. The sites have southwest exposures and different soil types. That flexibility explains the smooth and seamless bouquet offered by this wine. Compared to the single vineyard Sugarille expression, Rennina is more open and immediate. The wine presents fleshy and beautifully plump aromas of red cherry, dried blackberry and exotic spice with tobacco and chocolate at the back. - Wine Advocate
2013 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina
Price: $217.25 Your Price: $173.80
(95 Points) The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is a dark, plush and succulent red wine with seamless overall integration. Angelo Gaja makes his wines with broad brush strokes that form shapes of perfect harmony and grandeur. He seems less interested in the minutiae, much in the same way an impressionist painter creates a portrait without consideration for the gritty details of reality. Continuing with my art metaphor, I'll venture to say that this is a big-picture wine that embraces bold fruit, oak spice, acidity and tannin in one overwhelming and warm embrace. I usually score the Sugarille a point or two higher, but this year the Rennina won my heart. Wine Advocate Monica Larner
2000 Pieve di Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille
Price: $390.00 Your Price: $331.50
(92 Points) The 2000 Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille is dark in color as well as fresh in its aromas and flavors. It exudes a deep palate packed with smoke, tar, underbrush, tobacco and vibrant dark fruit in a style that marries power with finesse. A few years of cellaring are suggested, after which this wine will drink beautifully to at least age 20. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2016.
2015 Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino Rennina Magnum
Price: $528.75 Your Price: $449.44
(96 Points) The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is beautifully balanced and elegant. The wine is successfully streamlined and focused on the nuanced characteristics of the otherwise warm and sunny 2015 vintage. Rennina is often considered to be the more lithe and graceful of Gaja's two Brunellos (the other being Sugarille that is also reviewed here). The bouquet opens to pretty berry nuances, blue flower, lavender, grilled herb and powdery licorice. Despite the more delicate approach, Rennina delivers ample power in the mouth with fresh acidity and tight tannins. I'd suggest opening this bottle at the 10-year mark. Production is 11,000 bottles. Issue Date, 15th Oct 2020, October 2020 Week 2, The Wine Advocate
2015 Pieve di Santa Restituta Brunello Di Montalcino Sugarille Magnum
Price: $562.50 Your Price: $478.13
When the Gaja family purchased the historic Pieve Santa Restituta estate in 1994, they did so in the hopes of bringing their expertise and winemaking style to this appellation. Today, Sugarille (SOO-gah-REEL-leh) is considered one of the top expressions of Brunello di Montalcino. According to archives found at Pieve Santa Restituta, the Sugarille growing site was already devoted to the cultivation of grapes for wine by the mid-16th century (1541). The name Sugarille, is derived from the Latin suber, meaning cork oak, possibly because cork trees were found there.
Select vintage, with an ageing potential better than 2010. Juiciness and concentration are the features of the 2015 vintage with shows elegance and drinkability.
2017 Gaja Ca Marcanda Promis Bolgheri
Price: $53.00 Your Price: $46.64 Quantity in Stock: 4
A blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah and 10% Sangiovese.
2017 Gaja Ca Marcanda Ca Marcanda Bolgheri Magnum
Price: $486.00 Your Price: $427.68
2017 Gaja Ca Marcanda Ca Marcanda Bolgheri
Price: $180.00 Your Price: $153.00
2016 Gaja Ca Marcanda Ca Marcanda Bolgheri Magnum
Price: $553.50 Your Price: $470.48
(97 Points) This is another beautiful creation from the Gaja family. The 2016 Bolgheri Rosso Camarcanda (Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc) is infinitely smooth and finely textured down to the very last pixel in what is a high-resolution panoramic photograph. The core of the wine is packed tight with an explosion of flavor and concentration with so much dark fruit, spice, tobacco and sweet tobacco that unfurls from deep inside. This wine will have a long and, I am quite sure, very happy aging future ahead. It shows utmost precision and balance, with long persistence and a beautifully polished texture. Some 22,000 bottles were made. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2017 Gaja Ca Marcanda Magari Toscana IGT
Price: $72.75 Your Price: $64.02 Quantity in Stock: 4
(94+ Points) This wine is released before the Camarcanda blend. Angelo Gaja and his family have worked this vintage with a deft hand. This hot 2017 growing conditions have been harnessed for their positive attributes, such as the thickness and the dark concentration of the fruit and, consequently, the wine's freshness. Any negative implications have been absolutely eliminated and worked through. Nothing escapes Angelo's watchful eye. The 2017 Bolgheri Rosso Magari is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Some 78,000 bottles were produced. Issue Date, 16th May 2019- May 2019 Week 2, The Wine Advocate
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