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Repost – An Amazing Tasting of Gaja Wines at Gasbarro’s on Federal Hill

Wow!

I’m seriously tempted to just leave it at that, because this wine tasting was something special.  Where to start?  How about world class wines all around, and I do mean world class.  Add in an intimate setting inside Gasbarro’s on Federal Hill and it gets better.  Finally, toss in a representative from one of the most respected and heralded wine making families on the planet, and a very beautiful, knowledgeable and gracious representative at that.  Should I keep going?

The Place

This was the Gaja tasting at Gasbarro’s Wines on Thursday night, October 17th, 2013.  It was probably special enough to mark the date.  Gaia Gaja was there, 5th generation of the wine making Gaja family, and we had a chance to chat with her about her family’s wines and vineyards. The Gaja family has been making wine in Piemonte for a long time, and branched out into Tuscany with land purchases in Montalcino (1994) and Bolgheri (1996).   We also got a little inside information on the 2009 and 2010 Brunellos, so more on that later.  The store was quite crowded, but not

Gaia Gaja

unmanageable, and it was easily possible to get to all the wines.  There were many to choose from, all reds, and they represented some very high end offerings.  Here is the list, with prices.  We’ll summarize the wines later.  You don’t get a chance to taste a flight of this quality very often.

From Bolgheri (sort of the Bordeaux of Italy – blends of traditional Bordeaux varietals):

2010 Promis    $49.99

2010 Magari    $89.99

2008 Camarcanda    $169.99 (this was especially good)

From Montalcino (home of Sangiovese Grosso):

2008 Rennina Brunello di Montalcino   $189.99

2006 Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino  $499.99 for a magnum (spectacular Brunello)

From Piemonte (Kingdom of Nebbiolo – the Barolo is of course D.O.C.G. Barolo and 100% Nebbiolo, the Barbaresco D.O.C.G. Barbaresco and 100% Nebbiolo, the others are single vineyard Nebbiolo (95%) blended with 5% Barbera.  These are bottled under the Langhe D.O.C.):

2008 Dagromis Barolo   $109.99

2009 Barbaresco   $274.99 (amazingly elegant and complex.  Which pretty much goes for the next three as well)

2009 Costa Russi   $519.99

2009 Sori San Lorenzo  $519.99

2009 Sori Tilden   $519.99

While we don’t subscribe to the notion that price alone dictates good wine, this is Gaja, and these are some seriously expensive wines.  You expect them to be great, and they are.  Across the board great.  In fact, they are all so good it gets

The Bolgheris

hard to really come up with a lot of differences.  We can summarize a few.  For the Bolgheris, the Camarcanda was clearly the best wine, by quite a bit.  It’s also clearly the most expensive.  This was dark purple red with deep flavors, just a touch of funkiness, some wood and some tannins holding up the long finish.  Really, really good.  For the Brunellos, the Rennina was a pretty classic Brunello all around, but the better of the two was the 06 Sugarille, which had deep berry flavors with a little herbal note.  It was smooth and long and obviously an excellent wine.

For the Nebbiolos the differences are much more subtle.  They are all extremely elegant and scream out that they are impeccably made wines from some of the best vineyards in the world.  The Barbaresco was sublime.  The single vineyard bottlings were too.  Of the three of those the Sori Tilden was our favorite, it had a little more body and a deeper flavor profile.  Picking a favorite here is almost ludicrous, it’s like choosing between ten different flawless diamonds.  These are examples of the best the world has to offer at any price.  Simply put, I would gladly drink any of these all the time.  Sadly put, I can’t even think of being able to afford that.

Maybe a bottle of the Camarcanda for a special occasion.  Actually I think I am going to pick a favorite, and it was the Barbaresco.  At $275 it just isn’t in our budget, although we could certainly swing a bottle.  College tuition dictates otherwise right now.

Oh, and about those 2009 and 2010 Brunellos.  Gaia told us that they sold off all of their 2009 Sangiovese Grosso in bulk, and are not producing an 09 Brunello.  I might take that as a warning not to stock up on this particular vintage from Montalcino.  On the bright side, she said the 2010 vintage is excellent, comparing it to the great 2006 effort.

Many thanks to Mark Gasbarro for hosting such a wonderful tasting event.  Also many thanks to the gracious Gaia Gaja for bringing such incredible wines.  This was really special, and if you were within driving distance of Providence you should have been there.  Who knows when you get another chance.  The most incredible aspect of the evening was that it was free.  You could just walk right in and grab a glass.  As I said earlier…. wow.

A votre sante!

2 comments to Repost – An Amazing Tasting of Gaja Wines at Gasbarro’s on Federal Hill

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