There is no doubt that Gaja today is one of the most famous brands of Italian wine in the world. It is enough to recall, by way of explanation, that already in 1985 its Barbaresco DOCG was called “the finest wine ever made in Italy”, and that in 1998 the owner, Angelo Gaja, was awarded by the international wine press as “man of the year”.
It must be said that the premises for success were all there, since the winery Gaja, founded in 1859 by his great-great-grandfather Giovanni, had begun to focus on the quality of his wines since the beginning of 1900, with the production choices of his great-grandfather Angelo, driven in this direction by his wife Clotilde Rey. To Angelo succeeded his son Giovanni, the first to be stained with what in his time was a real blasphemy: pruning the vines discarding the less good clusters, rejecting “the grace of God”!
With such clear examples behind, the work of Angelo, who entered the company in 1961, could only be what we know today: creation of exclusive wines by Cru entered the history of wine, use of the most modern production techniques, inspired by Burgundy and Bordeaux viticulture, such as the use of barriques (a real revolution for those times) and expansion of production (currently around 350,000 bottles, from 92 hectares of property) with the introduction of vines from those lands, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon.
Despite this expansion of the cultivated varieties, however, Angelo has founded his fame on wines obtained from Nebbiolo grape, such as Barbaresco and its legendary Riserva, including the famous Sorì Tildìn. It is a wine that comes from what the French would call a lieux-dit, located on the hill of Cru Roncagliette, an MGA located in the extreme central-western area of Barbaresco. The name of the wine comes from the union between the definition “Sorì”, which indicates a vineyard on the top of a hill, and “Tildìn”, an affectionate appellation with which Angelo Gaja called his grandmother Clotilde Rey. In the vineyard the grapes are grown with a microsurgical precision that allows to bring to full ripeness only the best bunches, which, in turn, are subjected to further selection in the phase of manual harvesting. In the cellar, after the final selection, the grapes ferment and macerate for about three weeks in steel vats, before being left to age for 12 months in barriques, and for another 12 in large wooden barrels.
The 2016 vintage, an exceptional vintage for the Italian and international critics, shows a ruby color of medium intensity, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of Ravenna cherry, red currant, blood orange and pot pourri, followed by roasted coffee, humus, young leather and Golden Virginia tobacco, with final echoes of carpentry and empyrumatic. The palate is pure poetry, with an almost unnatural balance between softness, freshness, balsamic and mineral flavor, set in a dynamic and silky tannins; all this is enriched by the perfect correspondence between the nose and the retro-olfactory palatal sensation that persists, without any drop in tension, even beyond an incredibly long closure.
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