Gaja Barbaresco 2012
In 2012, Gaja didn't bottle his single-vineyard crus because they didn't reach his high quality standards, and many of the grapes from these celebrated vineyards finished in this elegant, firmly structured wine. It opens with enticing aromas of perfumed berry, pressed violet and sweet baking spice. On the palate, a backbone of tightly woven but refined tannins support black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, anise and tobacco. It's rather austere and still in its infancy so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2018-2032.
New oak adds vanilla and toast to the expressive cherry and berry fruit in this dense red, presenting a layer of tannins that will require time to integrate. Much better with air, staying fresh, focused and long. Best from 2018 through 2028. 2,500 cases made.
The 2012 Barbaresco shows different DNA from its previous incarnations. Angelo Gaja usually blends fruit from 14 vineyard sites to make this wine. Starting with this vintage, he has opted to reduce that number to eight vineyards instead. The change is subtle, but you can taste it. At this young stage in the wine's life I was unsure of the results. This Barbaresco is more austere, thorny and nervous compared to the super supple and rich vintages of the immediate past. The nose shows dark fruit follow by cola, garden herb and white pepper. The mouthfeel is silky and firm and edgy.