This big, beefy Barolo opens with such tremendous purity of fruit you’ll want to sit with the bouquet for a long minute before you take that first, glorious sip. A wine this good deserves to be savored. Also, a little time and air does wonders for pulling all of the elements together, bringing in some lovely minerality to join the core of cherry, strawberry, licorice and tar. Still tight and structured after a decade, this beauty could cruise for another 30 years.
Angelo Gaja, born in 1940, remains the alpha male of Italian winemaking, one of a long line of natural-born leaders and entrepreneurs. His father, Giovanni, was the political secretary for Barbaresco under Mussolini, and was so popular with the local citizenry that the Italian resistance never harmed him during WWII. Giovanni went on to become Mayor of Barbaresco from 1958 to 1983. For most of the postwar period, Giovanni worked as a construction manager all over Piedmont, and invested all of his earnings in land, while his mother, Clotilde Rey, AKA Tildin, ran the winery. By the time young Angelo entered the family business in 1961, the family owned 82 acres of prime vineyard land in Barbaresco and their brand was already well-known throughout Italy. In the following years, Angelo went on to build an Italian institution, adding estate vineyards in the Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and Bolgheri appellations. Today Gaja [GUY-yuh] is arguably the most prestigious wine brand in Italy.
Extremely pure fruit on the nose here with aromas of plums and strawberries and hints of cedar and rose petals, as well as rose stems. Full body. Very tannic and structured, yet polished and refined. Dusty and stony undertones and textures. Drink after 2021.