This wine made history when it became one of the earliest single-vineyard bottlings of Nebbiolo in Piedmont with the 1967 vintage. Sourced from the GAJA winery's top growing site, San Lorenzo, located just south of the village of Barbaresco in the famed cru Secondine, the wine is made with 95% Nebbiolo grapes and 5% Barbera. This practice hails back to the earliest era of Barbaresco, when the lighter-bodied Barbera was traditionally blended into the tannic Nebbiolo to temper its power and structure.
In 2000, with the release of the legendary 1996 vintage, GAJA decided to reclassify this wine and use the Langhe DOC appellation on the label, ommitting the Barbaresco DOCG. In part, the motivation for this change was purely semantic. As the number of single-vineyard bottlings grew in the 1990s, their popularity began to eclipse the importance of the traditional, classic Barbaresco, a cuvee or blend of many different vineyards. In a sense, the gesture was meant as a testament to the winery's steadfast belief that Barbaresco is one of the great wines of the world and should be accompanied rather than overshadowed by its single-vineyard fellows.
Harvesting of the three individual vineyards usually begins with Sori Tildin. Angelo bought the parcel in 1967 and named it after his grandmother, Clotilde Rey. The south-facing, sunny hill, sori in Italian, is always washed over by a light breeze. It is the highest of all the vineyards and, thanks to its location and inward-turned hill formation, it offers a very warm microclimate for the grapes.
The eponymous wine has refined fruity notes and is the most open of the three single-vineyard wines. Also Sori San Lorenzo, which Angelo bought already in 1964, faces the south. It is one of the family’s most beautiful vineyards. The wine from that vineyard has an aging potential of over 40 years, and the characteristic properties of the Nebbiolo are at their best here. Sori San Lorenzo is the strongest and most masculine wine of the three.
It usually requires a bottle aging time of at least 10-15 years, whereas Sori Tildin is known for its more feminine, elegant quality. Costa Russi, located at a lower altitude than Sori Tildin, has a cooler microclimate. Bought at the same time as Sori Tildin, Costa Russi is only a stone’s throw away. All three single-vineyard Barbarescos share their grape blend: 95% Nebbiolo and 5% Barbera.