This single vineyard expression is pure, textbook Barbaresco. Remarkable texture, mouth-filling fruit and monumental length can’t help but impress in this near-perfect vintage. It’s the floral details that really stand out from opening bouquet to the endless finish where dried roses and violets seem to linger in the air long after the last sip. This will be a long-lived wine, so feel free to cellar it and forget if for a few years – it should cruise for two more decades without breaking a sweat.
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.
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a more floral, sappy Barbaresco, offering textbook notes of black cherries, rose petals, sappy herbs, and violets. It's one of the more vibrant, juicy, and perfumed wines in the lineup and has medium to full body, bright yet integrated acidity, and the same incredibly polished yet certainly present tannins found in all these 2016s. This is another elegant 2016 that never puts a foot wrong.
This delicate red features floral, strawberry, cherry, currant and loamy earth aromas and flavors, showing terrific balance. A line of firm tannins adds support, and the finish is long and expansive.
Beautiful dried strawberries, flowers and cedar with hints of tar. Full body, round and rich tannins with lots of cedar, tar and tobacco, as well as a hint of chocolate powder. Lovely, long and caressing finish. Gorgeous again.