Gaja Conteisa 2017
Predominantly from within the cru of Cerequio on the border between Barolo and La Morra, Conteisa has been produced since 1996. The 2017 Barolo Conteisa has ripe aromas of red cherry, cinnamon, and licorice. The palate is forward and gushing with raspberry leather, iron-rich earth, and tobacco leaf. This is the most generous and giving of the three wines in this tasting, yet at the same time remains noble. Drink 2022-2042.
The 2017 Barolo Conteisa is rich, ample and inviting. Sweet pipe tobacco, cedar and dried flowers lend captivating aromatic presence to the Gaja family's La Morra Barolo. Even so, the 2017 is quite closed today, which is rather unusual for a wine that is typically far more open in the early going. That's probably a good sign for the future, though. Time in the glass brings out the classic Conteisa red-toned fruit profile. More than anything else, I am so impressed with how the 2017 gets better and better with air. This is a terrific showing. Sadly, production is down by about 50% because of severe selection.
The Gaja 2017 Barolo Conteisa opes to an immediate sense of dimension and textural width that distinguishes this hot growing season. In this case, that additional volume and power are expertly contained and refined in this wine with fruit from the Cerequio vineyard of Barolo. Cerequio saw hail damage in 2016 and was more fortunate this year; however, the site generally remains quite protected from extreme weather conditions (compared to its adjacent vineyards). This wine excels most noticeably in terms of mouthfeel. The finish is silky and long and those more astringent 2017 tannins are gracefully absent here.
Expressing balsamic aromas and flavors of soy, eucalyptus, wild thyme and tobacco, this Barolo also delivers ripe plum and cherry midpalate, with earth and tar accents rounding out the profile. Gruff tannins mark the finish, so be patient. Best from 2025 through 2045.
Aromas of French oak and roasted coffee bean lead the nose along with whiffs of pressed rose petal, eucalyptus and the barest hint of berry. The firm, full-bodied palate offers licorice, coconut, vanilla and dried cherry alongside assertive, close-grained tannins. You'll also feel the warmth of alcohol on the close. Drink 2025-2032.