Gaja Barbaresco 2016

SKU
GABA201610 UCAU
  • 96 points James Suckling
  • 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
  • 96 points Vinous
  • Single Bottle
    $420.00
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  • James Suckling
    96 points
  • Robert Parker
    96 points
  • Antonio Galloni
    96 points
  • Wine Spectator
    96 points

Editors notes

"Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don't miss it." - 96 points Antonio Galloni, Vinous

The Gaja estate calls 2016 “one of the greatest vintages we have ever experienced”.

Details

Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Earthy
    • Roses
    • Tar
  • Palate
    • Floral
    • Savoury
    • Tar

Food Pairings

  • Game
  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Suckling

    96
    "This is all about finesse with power. Such great length here with ever so refined tannin's 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."
  • Robert Parker

    96
    "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 characterised by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannin's 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."
  • Antonio Galloni

    96
    "Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don't miss it."
  • Wine Spectator

    96
    "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 tannin's and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043."

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

Current auction

All current auctions for this wine & any different vintages.

Locations

Italy

Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.

The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.

Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.

Piedmont

Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is probably the finest wine region in all of Italy, and has laid claim to this since Roman times. It has a continental climate influenced by the surrounding Alps and Ligurian Apennines, and is located in the north-west of Italy, bordering both France and Switzerland.

Piedmont has only 1% of the total vineyards of Bordeaux and 15% that of Burgundy. So while a top Chateaux may produce upwards of 35,000 cases a year, leading Barolo producers will often make only 800 cases. More than half of its vineyards are registered with DOC designations and many are in the Apennine or Alpine foothills, from 300-600m above sea level. Most of the wines are produced by smaller family estates rather than larger holdings.

Piedmont has 46 different DOC and four DOCG regions, and produces the largest number of well known, world-recognized, prize-winning wines. The most famous would have to be Barolo or Barbaresco, whose power comes from the Nebbiolo grape variety. The most widely planted red variety is Barbera although Dolcetto, Muscat, Shiraz and Bonarda are also produced.

The white variety most well known is Moscato, which is often made into frizzante (bubbly) wines known as Asti. Cortese is made into the popular Gavi wines, and smaller amounts of Chardonnay and high quality Sparkling are also produced in the far north of Piedmont.

Barbaresco

Barbaresco is one of the great wines of the Piedmont region in north-western Italy. Historically it was called Nebbiolo di Barbaresco (Nebbiolo being the grape it's made from) and was used by the Austrian General Melas to celebrate his victory over the French in 1799. Only in the middle of the 19th century was the wine we know today vinified into a dry style.
Its vineyards are situated in the Langhe, on the right-hand side of the Tanaro river and extending from the area north-east of Alba to the communes of Barbaresco, Nieve and Treiso, as well as San Rocco Senodelvio (once part of the Barbaresco municipality but now part of Alba). The dominant variety grown is Nebbiolo, but Dolcetto and Barbera also play a part. The vines are generally grown on limestone-rich marl soils.

Similar to its more famous sibling Barolo, Barbaresco is made from 100% Nebbiolo and shares its cult status as one of the finest wines in the world. However, there are several differences between the two. Barbaresco has a slightly maritime climate: warmer, drier and milder than its neighbor. This means its grapes tend to ripen earlier than those in Barolo. As a result, the wines are less tannic and more approachable at an earlier age. However there is still plenty of acidity and tannins to make this an age-worthy red. Barbaresco is characterized by its rich, spicy flavors and perfumed sweetness and is considered more elegant and refined than its counterpart, which is a more robust and longer-lived red.

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Frequently Bought With

About the brand Gaja

In 1859 Giovanni Gaja began purchasing a series of superior vineyards in the Barbaresco zone of Piedmont, Italy that would soon produce what some critics call, "Italy's finest wine." Currently, GAJA's holdings total 250 acres of land in Piedmont, located in the Barbaresco and Barolo DOCGs, the majority of which is planted to the Nebbiolo grape. In the late 1960s, Angelo Gaja, Giovanni's great-grandson, took over the winery operations. Having trained in Oenology in at Montpellier, he brought back to his family's estate a passion for French wine, vinification methods and grape varietals, introducing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Neither a modernist, nor traditionalist, GAJA walks a fine line between the two, fermenting wines for up to thirty days and ageing them for one year in French oak barriques, a third of which is new. The aging process is completed in the traditional Slavonian oak botti (50-60 hL). In the 1990s, the estate grew again, this time with the acquisition of vineyards outside of Piedmont, in the Montalcino and Bolgheri regions of Tuscany. AngeloÕs daughters Gaia and Rossana now continue the family tradition of running the estate.

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