Eparker 93 points: The 2011 Barbaresco opens to a dark garnet color and shows immediate opulence and intensity where its aromas are concerned. There’s an undeniable level of finesse and focus here that goes against all the things you might assume about a warmer vintage like 2011. The mouthfeel is perfectly tempered and smooth with an incredible sense of liveliness and dimension. Fruit is sourced from Gaja’s many vineyard holdings. Drink: 2017-2035.
I have some happy news to report from the exciting world of Angelo Gaja. The estate that was notoriously difficult (if not impossible) to visit for those outside the wine trade is now opening its doors to the public. There is a steep entrance fee, but the scheme makes perfect sense in my option. Any wine lover can make an appointment to tour the estate and sample wine for up to 300 euros a person. The money must be paid to charity as none of the proceeds go to Gaja. If you have a favorite non-profit organization, make a donation in that amount. Once you send receipt of payment to Gaja’s tasting room staff, your visit will be granted. It sounds like a fair exchange to me.
14 vineyards situated in the municipality of Barbaresco. The land, at a height between 250 and 330 metres above the sea level, covers a surface of 21.4 hectares. The plants are 40 years old on average.The grapes coming from each single vineyard, seprately undergo fermentation, maceration and ageing in oak for 12 months. Then they are blended and further aged in oak for another 12 months.
Fermentation: The grapes from each lot are fermented separately in stainless-steel vats for approximately 20 days, depending on the vintage. Upon completion of fermentation, the wine is racked to barriques, where malolactic fermentation takes place.
Aging: After fermentation is complete, the separate lots are then aged for one year in barriques (20% new, with a balance in one and two year old casks). The 14 lots are then blended and racked to large Slavonian oak casks ranging in age from five to fifteen years.