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Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

As one of Italy’s most reputable and revered wine regions, Piedmont enjoys a lot of well-deserved praise and attention. The region’s placement in the Alpine foothills creates a unique microclimate, where winters are noticeably colder, and the summers are close to what you’d experience in Burgundy. As you might imagine, this environment allows for a lot of versatility and diversity when it comes to wine flavors and styles. For a wine lover, exploring Piedmont feels like they’re a child again, exploring a vast, colorful candy store; you just don’t know where to start!

The diverse soil composition of Piedmont allows many popular grape varietals to thrive, including Nebbiolo, Barbera, Moscato, and Dolcetto. Depending on who you buy from, you can expect to experience many different aromatics and flavor traces, including dried herbs, rose petals, juicy and plump cherries, star anise, minerals, and many more. It’s this mind-boggling versatility that compels the curious, this promise of semi-familiar yet intriguing pleasures, and wines that stimulate the mind as much as they caress the palate.

Food is a crucial part of Italy’s cultural identity, and connoisseurs of good food often find themselves falling in love with the wine that accompanies it. Piedmont is approachable enough to help you create magical feasts and meals, and what better way to enjoy them than by sharing with the people closest to your heart. Whether you’re a decorated wine veteran or a newbie, this region has so, so much to offer you. The longevity of Piedmont wines is impressive enough to last a decade or two and develop even more compelling subtleties and nuances. How can you resist?

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1997 gaja sperss barolo Barolo

A virtually perfect effort is the 1997 Sperss (30,000 bottles), which represents the essence of truffles, earth, and black cherries in its striking aromatics and multidimensional, opulent, full-bodied palate. The acidity seems low because of the huge glycerin levels and prodigious concentration of fruit, but I suspect it is normal in the scheme of oenological measurement. This profound wine requires 3-4 years of cellaring, and should age well for 30-35 years.A genius for sure, Angelo Gaja can not be faulted for what he puts in the bottle. This work of art is worth every cent it will fetch.Robert Parker | 99 RPAdmittedly, Gaja’s 1997 Sperss doesn’t quite hit the high notes it so often does. More often than not, the 1997 has been pretty much open for business, but this bottle is more reticent than other recent examples.Vinous Media | 97 VMDark ruby. Loads of blackberry, vanilla and milk chocolate on the nose. Turns to licorice and flowers. Full-bodied, with a subtle tannin structure and fresh and focused fruit. Balanced and pretty wine. Just starting to open.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Best from 2008 through 2017. 2,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

99
RP
As low as $5,999.00
2000 gaja sperss barolo Barolo

Gaja's 2000 Sperss is wonderfully open and radiant. Layers of dark fruit, grilled herbs, cassis and smoke saturate the palate in this powerful, stunningly beautiful Sperss. Gorgeous inner perfume and a long, intense finish round things out in style.Vinous Media | 96 VMIncredible amount of fruit and character in this wine, with mint, mineral, blackberry and plum aromas turning to tobacco and tar. Full-bodied, with an iron-cast core of fruit and velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Incredibly tight and powerful. Give this a decade. From Gaja's 30-acre vineyard in the Barolo-producing zone of Serralunga. Best after 2013. 2,800 cases made, 580 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSGaja’s 2000 Sperss is wonderfully open and radiant. Layers of dark fruit, grilled herbs, cassis and smoke saturate the palate in this powerful, stunningly beautiful Sperss. Gorgeous inner perfume and a long, intense finish round things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.Angelo Gaja’s 2000s are a bit of a mystery. The wines were absolutely beautiful upon release and equally impressive when I tasted them a few years later for the 7th edition of Parker’s Wine Buyers Guide. The 2000s were far less convincing when I tasted them in November 2010. All of the wines were initially very reticent and closed. After an hour or two in the glass they opened for about 30 minutes before closing back down again. Gaja thinks the wines are passing through a stage of inaccessibility. If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt it is Gaja. I can’t remember the last older wine from this cellar that was a disappointment or that hadn’t aged well, and I have been privileged to taste the vast majority of wines that have been made here under Angelo Gaja’s tenure. Time will ultimately tell where these wines are headed, but this was not an especially flattering showing for Gaja’s 2000s. That said, most producers would be thrilled to have wines like these in their cellars. In some ways, Gaja is a victim of his own success. He sets such a high bar with his finest vintages; it is only natural to expect greatness all the time. The 2000s fall a bit short of that mark but are quite strong in the context of the year.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP

95
WS
As low as $295.00
2007 Gaja Barolo Conteisa

Blueberry and lemon aromas follow through to a full body, with firm and racy tannins and a delicate finish. This is refined and polished. Drink after 2013.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2007 Langhe Conteisa is impeccably ripe and silky on the palate, with expressive La Morra red fruits, flowers, mint and spices that emerge from the glass. This is another soft, seamless wine from Gaja, with gorgeous purity in the fruit that carries through all the way to the deeply satisfying, creamy finish. The tannins remain impeccably refined and beautifully balanced with the fruit. The wine is likely to firm up a touch in bottle, but it should be one of the most accessible of Gaja’s 2007s. The 2007 is easily among the finest Conteisas ever made. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.My most recent visit to Gaja was quite an experience, as I tasted all of the estate’s 1989s, 1990s and 2007s. The 1989s and 1990s are reviewed in this issue’s What About Now feature. Angelo Gaja, always loquacious on a wide range of subjects, says virtually nothing about his wines, an approach I have increasingly come to appreciate in an era where so many producers are constantly in pitch mode. Then again, Gaja doesn’t really need to say anything, the wines speak for themselves. I tasted the 2007s at the winery in November 2009 and then again in New York in January 2010. Both times they were spectacular. Stylistically the 2007s remind me of the 1997s in terms of their opulence. Gaja’s wines are often immensely appealing when young – which is certainly the case with the 2007s – but then close down in bottle for a number of years, sometimes many years. My impression is that the Costa Russi and Conteisa are the most likely of these 2007s to offer the widest drinking windows throughout their lives with a minimum of cellaring. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation take place in steel. The wines then spend approximately one year in French oak and a second year in cask prior to being bottled. As has been the case for a number of years now, Gaja’s Langhe wines incorporate a small percentage of Barbera. On a final note, it’s great to see Gaja’s daughters Gaia and Rossana increasingly involved in the winery. They, and their younger brother Giovanni, have big shoes to fill, but couldn’t have asked for better teachers than Angelo and Lucia Gaja.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPFull medium red. Rather unforthcoming but mellow aromas of plum, mocha and licorice. Silky on entry, then more tightly wound toward the back in spite of its plush, layered texture. Lovely raspberry, spice and underbrush flavors blast through the building, granular tannins on the long aftertaste.Vinous Media | 94 VM

95
RP
As low as $1,449.00
2007 gaja barbaresco sori tildin Barbaresco

This is an elegant Nebbiolo-based wine and arguably the most feminine of Gaja's newest releases. There's extreme balance and sophistication evident in the focused aromas of wild berry, white licorice, pressed violets and polished stone. The mouthfeel is tight, firm and those tannins need at least 10 more years to soften in your cellar. Beautiful.Wine Enthusiast | 99 WEThe 2007 Langhe Sorì Tildìn opens with a huge, kaleidoscopic bouquet that immediately draws me in. A remarkably vivid wine, the sensual Sorì Tildìn caresses the palate with silky, textured fruit, showing incredible power, length and class. There is a transparency to the wine that is beguiling. Once again, the finish is eternal. Sorì Tildìn is one of Gaja's more nuanced wines, and in 2007 it is breathtakingly beautiful.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGVery, very fresh and floral with peaches, ripe strawberries and plums. So aromatic and clear. Full-bodied, with powerful tannins and a cocoa, chocolate aftertaste. Gorgeous and sturdy. Needs time. Better after 2016.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2007 Langhe Sori Tildin opens with a huge, kaleidoscopic bouquet that immediately draws me in. A remarkably vivid wine, the sensual Sori Tildin caresses the palate with silky, textured fruit, showing incredible power, length and class. There is a transparency to the wine that is beguiling. Once again, the finish is eternal. Sori Tildin is one of Gaja’s more nuanced wines, and in 2007 it is breathtakingly beautiful. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2037My most recent visit to Gaja was quite an experience, as I tasted all of the estate’s 1989s, 1990s and 2007s. The 1989s and 1990s are reviewed in this issue’s What About Now feature. Angelo Gaja, always loquacious on a wide range of subjects, says virtually nothing about his wines, an approach I have increasingly come to appreciate in an era where so many producers are constantly in pitch mode. Then again, Gaja doesn’t really need to say anything, the wines speak for themselves. I tasted the 2007s at the winery in November 2009 and then again in New York in January 2010. Both times they were spectacular. Stylistically the 2007s remind me of the 1997s in terms of their opulence. Gaja’s wines are often immensely appealing when young – which is certainly the case with the 2007s – but then close down in bottle for a number of years, sometimes many years. My impression is that the Costa Russi and Conteisa are the most likely of these 2007s to offer the widest drinking windows throughout their lives with a minimum of cellaring. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation take place in steel. The wines then spend approximately one year in French oak and a second year in cask prior to being bottled. As has been the case for a number of years now, Gaja’s Langhe wines incorporate a small percentage of Barbera. On a final note, it’s great to see Gaja’s daughters Gaia and Rossana increasingly involved in the winery. They, and their younger brother Giovanni, have big shoes to fill, but couldn’t have asked for better teachers than Angelo and Lucia Gaja.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPToast and spice aromas lead off in this warm, expansive red, which quickly evokes black cherry, plum, floral and spice flavors, all allied to the silky texture and precision structure. Rich fruit and spice flavors echo on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2032. 80 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

97
RP
As low as $759.00
2008 gaja barbaresco sori tildin Barbaresco

The 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn't quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That's not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It's tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a pretty singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThe 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn’t quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That’s not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It’s tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.This is a stunning set of wines from Angelo Gaja and his team in Barbaresco. Those who think 2008 is a truly great year for Nebbiolo must have tasted these wines. In a vintage that is inconsistent across the villages of Barbaresco, Gaja has produced not one but four stellar wines. As fabulous as these wines are, they aren’t especially true to type, as I explain in these notes. The 2008s I tasted in the US showed far better than the bottles I tasted in Barbaresco during the summer. Perhaps the onset of the cool fall weather gave these wines a little more spine than they had during the sweltering heat of August. Readers who want to learn more about the 2011 harvest at Gaja may want to take a look at my video interview with Gaia Gaja and vineyard manager Giorgio Culasso.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPEspresso, plum, black cherry and toast aromas and flavors mark this powerful, muscular red, which is angular and out of sorts today, but dense and grainy, with a firm, tannic structure. The oak dominates the finish, so give this time. Best from 2015 through 2032. 150 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

96
RP
As low as $675.00
2009 Gaja Barolo Conteisa

The 2009 Conteisa sees fruit harvested from the Cerequio cru in La Morra and is one of two “Barolo-inspired” wines made by the Gaja family. A small percentage of Barbera is added to the blend. Very expressive of the cru, Conteisa opens with a beautifully floral footprint of pressed rose and blue violets followed by bright cherry, cassis, chopped mint, licorice, tar, ginger and delicately smoked cedar. Again, the complexity is mind-blowing. The wine glides effortlessly over the palate, but make no mistake, that tight, tannic austerity kicks in at the back. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPPlentiful red fruits here with hints of toffee and dried flowers on the nose. Full-bodied and tannic with chocolate and orange peel on the palate. Flavourful finish. Try after 2016.James Suckling | 95 JSElegant, vibrant and beautifully balanced, this features cherry and raspberry fruit aligned with a firm, harmonious structure. Licorice, tar and spice notes chime in, with a lingering finish of cherry, tobacco and menthol. Shows great energy and drive. Best from 2016 through 2030. 625 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WSGood medium red. Explosive aromas of redcurrant, red cherry, violet and licorice. Wonderfully silky and fat on the palate, with highly concentrated, pliant red fruit flavors that don't quite show the delicate herbal and floral high notes of the 2010. But this big, broad, plush 2009 boasts an element of finesse to its tannins that's rare for the vintage.Vinous Media | 94 VM

96
RP
As low as $1,789.00
2010 gaja barolo conteisa Barolo

The 2010 Conteisa is a stunner with all the overwhelming elegance that is inherent to this vintage. It opens steadily to reveal red flower, cassis, baking spice, anisette and tobacco. The aromas are expressive and deep with enduring richness. The tannins are slightly sweet and already soft. This is a collectors’ choice. Drink: 2018-2040.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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPMade with Nebbiolo from Gaja's holdings in the Cerequio vineyard in La Morra, with a touch of Barbera, this combines finesse, structure and depth. It's highly perfumed with rose, balsamic notes, berry and spice that follow through to red cherry, raspberry, white pepper, licorice and mint flavors. It's balanced with polished tannins and closes on a mineral note. Drink 2018–2030.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WEAromas of sliced porcini, dried rose petals and dark fruits such as plums. Full body, chewy and rich with dusty tannins. Juicy finish. Needs time to soften still. Better in 2017.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2010 Conteisa is a wine of extreme finesse. Flowers, sweet red berries, hard candy, mint and licorice all emerge from the glass, supported by silky, polished tannins. Today the 2010 impresses for its fabulous, crystalline purity and striking overall balance. The style is aromatic, lifted and all about elegance. The 2010 has only recently been bottled. I won't be surprised if it is even better in another few years. Conteisa is mostly Nebbiolo with a dollop of Barbera, from the Cerequio vineyard in La Morra.Vinous Media | 95 VMFloral top notes lead to black cherry and strawberry fruit, with flourishes of tobacco, iron and spice. This red is balanced and light- to medium-bodied, showing a terrific texture. Ample tannins leave a dusty feel on the lingering finish. Best from 2018 through 2032. 1,250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

97
RP
As low as $1,849.00
2010 gaja barbaresco sori san lorenzo Barbaresco

A banner wine for Gaja, the 2010 Sori San Lorenzo brings the infinite and ethereal aromas associated with Nebbiolo into startling focus and clarity. Again, like the Sori Tildin, the structure and tannic firmness of the wine will carry the wine forward over the years and decades ahead. It demands much more time until it fully blossoms. I walked through the San Lorenzo vineyard with Gaia Gaja and she showed me some of their recent activity. Every second row is planted with barley that acts as a natural rototiller given its aggressive root system. Borrowing other “New World” ideas, they’ve started compost piles with Californian red worms and are using (with less success, I’m told) wooden tree boxes to repopulate the birds. All of this must seem very odd to the neighbors. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.Just a short while ago, in the midst of one of Italy’s darkest political hours when forming a functioning government seemed like an exercise in futility, someone sent me a Facebook petition proposing Angelo Gaja as a candidate for President of the Republic of Italy. Although Angelo himself would brush it off as jest, that seedling of a (good) idea took the Internet by firestorm. What he has demonstrated over the years, besides from his infectious enthusiasm and keen ability to communicate his thoughts with brilliant clarity and gumption, is a natural ability for leadership. Barbaresco is lucky to have an Angelo Gaja, the Langhe is lucky to have him, and Italy is, too.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPThe 2010 Sorì San Lorenzo jumps from the glass with lavender, violets, plums, smoke and licorice, all in a lifted, precise style built on finesse. The tannins are remarkably sweet and polished for such a young wine. The pulsating fruit and sense of structure are reminiscent of the 1999, but here, there is perhaps a little more finesse and slightly more compelling balance.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGAromas of marble, dried cherries and iron, with hints of iodine. Full-bodied, tannic and chewy, yet balanced and refined all the same. This needs the most age of the single-vineyard, 2010 Gaja Nebbiolos. Try in 2018.James Suckling | 96 JSThis muscular red features ample fruit, with a fine quality to the stiff tannins, offering loads of cherry, tar and sandalwood flavors, with excellent length. Give this a few years. Best from 2016 through 2032. 500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
RP
As low as $465.00
2011 Gaja Barolo Conteisa

This is wonderfully succulent and refined with blueberry, lavender and sandalwood aromas and flavors. Botanical, with some juniper. Medium body with integrated, polished tannins and a long finish. Very pretty. The salted-meat undertones on the palate make it very savory. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 95 JSThe 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo Conteisa is an irresistible wine with enormous depth, beauty and penetration. It sweeps over the palate in opulent waves with dark fruit, spice, leather and grilled herbs. It also shows a distinct balsam personality with cola and dried violets that give the wine a beautiful sense of aromatic lift and buoyancy. Langhe Conteisa is made with Nebbiolo (and a tiny part Barbera) from the Cerequio vineyard in La Morra. The 2011 vintage is slightly broader than past vintages, but this wine promises a long drinking evolution regardless.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe 2011 Conteisa is a forward, open-knit wine with good depth and plenty of near-term appeal. At the same time, the move towards a lighter style that has defined the Gaja wines over the last few years is very much in evidence. Cinnamon, sweet red cherries, herbs, mint and wild flowers add nuance. Even with time in the glass, the Conteisa remains succulent nuanced, with less of the opulence that is found in so many other wines. Conteisa emerges from a handful of parcels in La Morra’s Cerequio vineyard.Vinous Media | 91 VMThis is reticent today, with more savory and underbrush flavors than cherry notes, which remain buried for now. Reveals a lovely texture and energy, showing potential. Best from 2019 through 2029. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

94
ML
As low as $1,489.00
2013 gaja barbaresco costa russi Barbaresco

The 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a real head-turner. Crystalline and utterly vivid in its expression of Nebbiolo, the 2013 is all class. Stylistically, the Costa Russi is closest to the straight Barbaresco, but it has a little more mid-palate sweetness and density. Bright floral and minty notes add lift on the chiseled, expressive finish. The Costa Russi is the star of the show this year, considering it is the least pedigreed of Gaja’s three single-vineyard sites. The 2013 has been stunningly beautiful on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.Vinous Media | 98 VMMedium ruby color. The class, strength and finesse to this wine are ever present with berry, dark-chocolate and walnut character. Full-bodied, dense and chewy. Very fresh. Chocolate, mango and ripe-strawberry flavors herald a bright finish. Needs four or five years to soften. Classic tannins. Better in 2021.James Suckling | 98 JSThe 2013 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a celebration of vineyard site. In the past, this wine was blended with 5% Barbera, but this is no longer the case starting now. For the first time in recent memory, we are tasting a pure expression of Nebbiolo as harvested from the rows of vines in the Costa Russi cru, located directly below Sorì Tildìn at the base of the Barbaresco village. The vines are over 65-years-old and are planted in limestone clay and marl soils. Costa Russi is known for delicate, light-bodied wines that exhibit floral aromas of rose hip and lavender, as well as darker fruit tones at the back. Those qualities are beautifully evident in this vintage. The mouthfeel is characterized by a firm sense of tannic structure that is common to all of Gaja’s new releases in the 2013 vintage.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThis is a vintage marked by finesse rather than power, and one that will benefit from further bottle age. The raspberry-scented nose shows great elegance, with some spice tones from the oak. The attack is overtly fruity and floral, showing great charm and poise. It’s a mouthfilling wine, but doesn’t display any heaviness or clumsiness. Balanced, with exceptional length. Drinking Window 2020 - 2036Decanter | 95 DECRed berry, aromatic herb, pressed violet and dark spice aromas meld together in the glass. Firmly structured, the palate boasts intensity and energy, offering dark cherry, licorice and mint set against a backbone of fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. It’s well balanced but young so give this time to fully develop. Drink 2020–2032.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEThough rich in texture, this red is vibrant and bordering on racy, with cherry, strawberry, iron, spice and floral flavors that are persistent and focused. Excellent length on the resonant finish, where fruit and spice notes reign. Best from 2020 through 2036. 155 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

98
VM
As low as $855.00
2013 Gaja Barolo Conteisa

Lots of beautiful aromas of strawberries, cherries, oranges and white chocolate follow through to a full body with a fantastic, dense and chewy mouth feel and a long finish. So precise. Starting drinking in 2022.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 2013 Barolo Conteisa is now officially a DOCG wine following years as a Langhe Nebbiolo or IGT wine. The first vintage was 1996 and fruit is sourced from the Cerequio cru in La Morra. This is a classic and coherent expression that is characterized by crunchy fruit flavors and sweet tannins. Fruit came into the winery at very low temperatures and saw slow fermentations. Generally speaking, the 2013 vintage is characterized by slow ripening and a long growing season (unlike 2012 that saw more concentrated heat). This is a balanced and homogenous wine with a softly caressing nature. It offers aromas of citrus, summer fruit and even a touch of watermelon pulp. This wine is usually considered the more immediate of Gaja’s two new Barolo wines, yet this vintage surely needs extra time to evolve.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2013 Barolo Conteisa (which is the first year it’s been classified as a Barolo) is another beautiful, elegant 2013 that has loads of charm. Black cherries, framboise, tobacco, and smoked earth characteristics all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, silky effort that has ripe - even sweet - tannin, no hard edges, and beautiful purity of fruit. It’s far from inaccessible but will be better in 2-3 years and keep for two decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 95 JDThe 2013 Conteisa is unusually dark and virile in this vintage. Black cherry, smoke, licorice, leather and melted road tar give the Conteisa much of its dark, brooding personality. That impression is reinforced by the wine’s imposing tannic structure and overall feel. Conteisa is typically a wine more of finesse than power, but the 2013 vintage seems to have pulled out a more virile expression of this site. I suspect the 2013 is going to need a good few years in the cellar, perhaps more, to be at its very best.Vinous Media | 94 VMStar anise, pressed rose petal, aromatic herb and camphor are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this taut, polished red. The firmly structured, elegant palate delivers sour cherry, pomegranate, licorice and ground clove set against a backbone of fine-grained tannins. It’s young but balanced, with bright acidity. Give it time to reach its full potential. Drink 2021–2033. Kerin O’Keefe | 94 KOStar anise, pressed rose petal, aromatic herb and camphor are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this taut, polished red. The firmly structured, elegant palate delivers sour cherry, pomegranate, licorice and ground clove set against a backbone of fine-grained tannins. It’s young but balanced, with bright acidity. Give it time to reach its full potential. Drink 2021–2033.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEDensely woven with flavors of cherry, plum, earth and spice, this red starts out very tightly wrapped, relaxing and gaining richness with air. A touch dry on the finish, but overall balanced. Decant at least 3 hours now, or better yet, age another 5 years. Best from 2022 through 2038. 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

96
JS
As low as $1,779.00
2013 gaja sperss barolo Barolo

Gaja's 2013 Sperss is fabulous. Deep and powerful, yet also wonderfully translucent, the 2013 hits all the right notes. Graphite, game, smoke, licorice, plum, black cherry and dark spice are some of the signatures, but as is always the case with the best vintages, Sperss is a wine of vertical intensity and muscle. The 2013 won't be anywhere near ready to drink for a number of years. All the pedgiree and character of these Serralunga sites come through in an exceptionally beautiful and vivid Barolo from Gaja.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGThe gem of the 2013s is the 2013 Barolo Sperss which comes from limestone-dominated soils. The 2013 is deep, concentrated, and structured, with a fabulous sense of minerality in its black cherry, leafy herbs, damp earth, and licorice aromas and flavors. From a late, cool vintage, it has awesome purity of fruit, plenty of tannins, and a huge finish. It’s a brilliant wine any way you look at it. I’d happily drink this elixir today, but it deserves at least 3-4 years and will keep for 25+.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDAmazing aromas of cherries, oranges and light prunes with hints of wet earth and mushrooms. Very perfumed. It's medium-bodied, firm and direct. Great vino. Needs at least five years to come together but already a joy to taste.James Suckling | 96 JSThis wine shows the quintessential attributes of the Serralunga d'Alba appellation with dark fruit flavors and powerful intensity. The 2013 Barolo Sperss paints a very authentic picture of its unique territory with rich layers of black fruit, wet earth, black truffle, licorice and spice. The wine's tannic structure is firm and lasting. It shows broad shoulders and rich texture overall. This beautiful Barolo boasts a dark color and thick concentration with the aromatic elegance obtained in the 2013 vintage. This important wine is now part of the Barolo DOCG family.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPUnderbrush, toast, menthol, grilled herb and star anise aromas lead the way. Firmly structured but loaded with finesse, the taut palate delivers Morello cherry, raspberry, licorice and a toasted note while assertive, close-grained tannins provide the framework. It's still young and austere so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2023–2033.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WETextbook rose, tar and cherry aromas and flavors, with accents of oak spice, licorice and tobacco, are the hallmarks of this complex red. Powerful yet harmonious, showing fine structure and a lingering finish. Best from 2022 through 2040. 375 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

97
VM
As low as $359.00
2015 gaja barbaresco Barbaresco

Woodland berry, blue flower, sunbaked soil and a whiff of dark spice shape the nose. Structured and extremely elegant, the focused, impeccable palate doles out juicy red cherry, strawberry, baking spice and star anise set against taut polished tannins that provide seamless support. It’s well balanced, with fresh acidity. It’s already tempting but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2032. Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEA combination of savory and fruit elements, this red reveals cherry, berry, eucalyptus, menthol, tar and mineral flavors. Firms up, with monolithic tannins locking this tight. Patience is required. Best from 2023 through 2042. 900 cases imported. Wine Spectator | 95 WSA rich and layered Barbaresco with cedar and plums, as well as light leather and rose aromas that follow to a full yet balanced palate and a chewy finish. Very polished. Drink in 2020, but already beautiful.James Suckling | 95 JSGaja’s 2015 Barbaresco is gorgeous. Deep, pliant and resonant, the 2015 exudes class from the very first taste. Today, the aromatics are not especially open or expressive, but it is the wine’s depth and overall sense of harmony that really carry the day. Hints of orange peel, spice and rosewater give the 2015 an exotic aromatic top register that is hugely appealing. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this gem. The 2015 is a wonderfully complete and harmonious wine, but it really does need a few years in the cellar to fully unwind.Vinous Media | 94 VMThe 2015 Barbaresco was to be bottled a week after I tasted this sample for review. Gaia Gaja was waiting for the right moon before commencing bottling. This vintage is not unlike the 2005 growing season that saw a good amount of rain in spring and scorching heat in the summer. The risk of downy mildew made vintners extra vigilant. Although the 2015 vintage was not ideal for color fixing Nebbiolo (indeed, this wine is slightly less intense in terms of its color saturation), it did prove an important year for power, structure and dry extract. This is a full and generous expression with a fine, loose texture and rich fruit flavors.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPClassic Nebbiolo perfume of violet and raspberry, followed by red cranberry and cherry fruit. Sweet, slightly creamy oak; this is approachable and – although it lacks the depth of the single vineyard wines – it’s still impressively long with gorgeous charm. (Drink between 2018-2032)Decanter | 92 DEC

96
WE
As low as $495.00
2016 gaja barbaresco mixed case (2x costa russi, sori tildin, sori san lorenzo) Barbaresco
As low as $3,649.00
2016 gaja barbaresco Barbaresco

Aromas of rose, red berry and eucalyptus mingle with whiffs of exotic spice on the gorgeous, fragrant red. Loaded with finesse and tension, the elegant, structured palate delivers crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise set against fresh acidity and taut, lithe tannins. It's already compelling, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2036.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThis is all about finesse with power. Such great length here with ever so refined tannins and precise strawberry, cedar, dried-rose and mineral character. Medium body. Fresh and vivid finish. Hard not to drink now, but wait until at least 2021.James Suckling | 96 JSI tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can't claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine's future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine's carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPGaja's 2016 Barbaresco is positively stellar. A wine of poise and grace, the 2016 has so much to offer. Expressive spice and floral notes open up first, but what really stands out is the wine's nuance and delineation. There is a sense of translucency to the 2016 that is impossible to miss. Sweet red cherry, mint, cinnamon and rose petal develop in the glass, adding further shades of nuance. Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don't miss it.Vinous Media | 96 VMThe Gaja family calls 2016 one of the best vintages they have ever experienced, with a long, slow ripening period without heat stress or disease pressure. That balance comes through in this suave, elegant Barbaresco. It smells of soft rose petals and tastes of juicy cherries and spiced raspberries, the flavors gliding along smooth, ripe tannins. With air, the wine picks up energy and depth, moving into a long, vibrant finish.Wine & Spirits | 96 W&SThis gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043. 1,800 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThe 2016 Barbaresco showed beautifully, with a classical yet seductive and sweetly fruited style that's going to evolve gracefully. Medium ruby-hued, with a core of sweet red fruits balanced by classic dried flowers, licorice, asphalt, and medicinal herbs, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness that carries impress sweet fruit as well as building tannins. Barbaresco doesn't get more classic, and while it has a sunny, sweetly fruited style, it also has ample underlying tannins and structure, so give bottles 4-5 years. It should deliver the goods for two decades or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 94 JDThe nose is poised, displaying very ripe raspberry and black berry aromas. The attack has intensity, partly thanks to its pungent acidity, but there's no rawness and the tannins are ripe. This is taut and structured and needs time. While concentrated, it's not excessively so, and the wine retains its delicacy through the very long finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2040.Decanter | 93 DEC

98
WE
As low as $265.00
2017 gaja barolo conteisa Barolo

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.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDFabulous aromas of ripe strawberry and raspberry with hazelnut and citrus follow through to a medium to full body with ultra-fine tannins and a racy and refined finish. It’s so fresh for the vintage and goes on for minutes. A classy and great wine. Better after 2025.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 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.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGThe 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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPGaja manages two different plots in Cerequio, from where most of the grapes for Conteisa come. Both exposures - southeast and east - mark the character of this wine. If Sperss is the Yin, Conteisa would be the Yang: It’s dark fruited with black cherry and plum complemented by graceful wild herbs and mint, and a bloody, olive-like savouriness. Full-bodied and crisp, the tannins are firm, thick and dusty yet evolved. Drinking Window 2021 - 2040.Decanter | 95 DECExpressing 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. 650 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSAromas 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.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

98
JD
As low as $299.00
2018 gaja sperss barolo Italy Red

The 2018 Barolo Sperss is a gorgeous, gorgeous wine. The aromatics alone are beguiling. Then again, that’s one of the things that makes Barolo such a totally seductive wine. Sweet black cherry, lavender, spice and leather give this unusually translucent Barolo striking layers of dimension. Potent Serralunga tannins are present, but they are beautifully woven into the wine’s fabric. Sadly, production is around 11,000 bottles, down sharply from the 18,000 or so that is more typical.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGLots of rose-petal aromas here, together with some stems and sandalwood, as well plums and berries. Medium-bodied with a tight palate and very fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Linear and focused. Hints of nutmeg and pie crust highlight the palate. Approachable. now, but needs at last three or four years to open. Try after 2026.James Suckling | 95 JS

98
KO
As low as $979.00
2019 gaja barbaresco Piedmont Red

Gaja’s 2019 Barbaresco was bottled only a few days before this tasting but it already has sweet roses and red fruits on the nose with very subtle, gentle spice notes. It has a great texture and flows gracefully across the palate. It feels very harmonious with plenty of refreshing acidity and finely integrated tannins. Sublimely elegant with a fine, silt-like texture to the tannins, it is poised, beautifully understated and charming. Keep for 2 years and drink for up to 20 plus.The Wine Independent | 97 TWIHeady aromas of rose, violet, forest berry and a whiff of oak-driven spice shape the nose. Smooth and full-bodied, the elegantly structured palate delivers crushed raspberry, licorice and coffee bean set against taut, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2025–2034.Kerin O’Keefe July 2022 | 96 KO(Gaja Barbaresco Red) Gaja’s 2019 Barbaresco is gorgeous. Bright and nervy, with fabulous balance, the 2019 captures all the best this tricky vintage had to offer. Gaja did not bottle any other Barbaresco crus, opting to use the best lots for this bottling. That decision paid off in a 2019 that sizzles with tension. The aromatics alone are captivating. Bright acids lend vibrancy to a core of beautifully delineated Nebbiolo fruit. I can’t wait to see how this ages. (Drink between 2025-2039)Antonio Galloni | 93+ AG

97
TWI
As low as $135.00
2019 gaja barolo conteisa Italy Red

The 2019 Barolo Conteisa is a noble wine, with angular and drying tannins, as well as more mineral expression. Notes of medicinal herbs, crushed stones, and pure cherry lead to a wine that is more restrained right now but will be fantastic. Through the palate, it has compact but wonderful concentration and a driving structure and is more herbaceous, savory, and mineral than fruity and floral. It is outstanding. Drink the 2020s while waiting for the 2019s.Jeb Dunnuck | 98-100 JDThe compelling Gaja 2019 Barolo Conteisa is radiant, austere and elegantly structured. It’s also fragrant, with enticing scents of rose, blue flower, wild herb and dark spice that give way to intense flavors of raspberry, cherry, star anise and menthol. Firm, refined tannins provide support while bright acidity keeps it energized and balanced. Drink 2029–2049. What a beauty. Abv: 14.5% Kerin O’Keefe | 98 KOA powerful and tannic wine with mushroom, forest flower, bark, and black tea aromas and flavors. Full and chewy. This is a young nebbiolo that needs time to soften. Better after 2029.James Suckling | 94 JS

98-100
JD
As low as $399.00

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