piedmont - wine II

on our last day, we had a bit of a threat when visited the distilleria del barbaresco very early in the morning.  no we did not taste grappa, but Franco at the distelleria was good enough to show us inside out and explain with much brillance the whole process of distillation.  unfortunately, there was not vinaccia to distill on that morning but we nonetheless were able to see everything.

then, the super threat was when we visited GAJA.

and what a tour the kind and friendly Sonia Franco gave us.  as we walked through the cellars among the barrique she talked about the Gaja family and its evolution through the generations, their ideals, and passion for quality, tradition, and their desire to push the limits to reach ever higher levels of quality.

i was impressed how they are uncompromising and completely and totally invested in what they do.  the cellars are beautiful, going from one building and extending under the street of barbaresco to reach the castle on the other side.  they are beautifully laid out and throughout you can feel the love, the passion, the commitment.

we ended our tour at the tasting room where the entire collection was displayed and we were told the story of each wines and how their names came about, the history behind each and the deep meaning that each wines have for the Gaja family.  everything is considered in relations to the rich history of the family, calling deep rooted feelings that, when you taste the wine, goes beyond the grape and the terroir itself.  as if, knowing the philosophical and historical background of each wine, you come to understand its personality a little better as you drink it.  i had never thought or experienced that before, but at Gaja, love, passion, and tradition transcend everything they do.

we tasted their ALTENI DI BRASSICA 2000 made from sauvignon blanc.  with intense floral aromas with smoke and hints of honey, its palate of grapefruit, honey and an refershing acidity with a nice long lenght.

the CAMARCANDA 2004, was still young and fresh with jammy red fruits - strawberries, rasberries with a medium acidity and tannin and a nice spicy, almost peppery finish.

BARBARESCO 2004: a fantastic wine.  beautiful clear bright ruby color, with medium intensity aromas of fresh forest fruits, berries, and licorice.  a very well balanced palate with its acidity, soft ripe tannins, and flavours marrying each other perfectly.  a long richly fruity lenght of complexity and savouriness which waters my mouth only thinking about it now.  definitely a great wine which, in my humble experience, i think will be a great fine wine.  to keep for many years.

and finally, SPERSS 1989.  intense aromas of tobacco, smoke, and still after 8 years strong hints of dark forest fruits.  on the palate, a fine balance of acidity and tannins with flavours of black fruits, liquorice and tar.  delicious now but can keep.

in all, a super tasting that all of us will never forget.  Sonia, we were fans before visiting you, we are definitely disciples now!  thanks!

after our lunch at arsivoli, we headed towards BAROLO where we unfortunately did not spend enough time on this trip.  although i am discovering myself to be a barbaresco guy, we have visited the cellars of GIANNI GAGLIARDO and tasted a nice PREVE BAROLO 2004.  a beautiful ruby color with soft and complex aromas of dark fruits and spices. a medium acidity with high levels of tannins - a little bit coarser than a barbaresco) and fresh yet complex flavours of cherries, mulberries, and spice. with a nice long complex finish.