Today we are very pleased to release the 2018 Gaja Barbaresco, one of the finest vintages to date of their superb flagship cuvée. The Gaja estate produces their three legendary single-vineyard wines only in the very best vintages and while 2018 would certainly have met the criteria for its outstanding quality of fruit, a freak hailstorm destroyed the entire Sori San Lorenzo vineyard as well as 30% of their overall harvest, resulting in the remaining grapes from Costa Russi and Sorí Tildin finding their way into the blend of the 2018 Barbaresco instead. It is available today for the release price of £845 per case of 6 or in stunning magnums for the price of £920 per 3. With no single vineyards to come from this exceptional year, we do expect demand for today’s release to be extremely high so please do not delay in getting in touch to secure your allocation.
The critic reviews for the 2018 Barbaresco are unsurprisingly exultant with James Suckling awarding it his highest ever score of 97 points, admiring, “Aromas of ripe strawberries with hazelnuts, blood oranges and some coconut. Full-bodied with very refined and polished tannins that nicely form this young red wine. Fresh and delicious aftertaste of berry, cedar, bark and dark chocolate. Ever so subtle, yet powerful and driven at the finish. Very long and intense. Very classical style to it and cooler.”with Jeb Dunnuck also bestowing it with his highest ever score of 96+ Points, finding it to be, “pure and inviting, with perfumed notes of rose petal, ripe raspberry, and clove. Medium-bodied and approachable, with super fine-grained tannins, it offers fresh strawberry, orange pith, and dusty earth. The undeniable elegance of this 2018 is joyful now.” Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate awarded it one of her highest scores for the vintage with 94+ Points, describing it as, “a wine of grace and purpose, with an elegant bouquet and a more powerful palate presence. […] subtle Nebbiolo nuances and finesse, with crushed flowers, coriander, wild berry, smoke, tar and candied orange peel. […] This 2018 vintage comes alive in the mouth, thanks to its balanced acidity and the absolutely bright and pristine quality of fruit delivered with such care.” Finding mature vintages of Gaja Barbaresco with at least a decade of age can be a great challenge given the fierce global demand, therefore it is no surprise to see the current market prices of vintages such as 2008 and 2006 climb to £1340 per 6 and £1800 per 6 respectively, showing a clear and considerable premium in the long term for today’s release price of £845.
Angelo Gaja’s wines are highly sought after the world over. Gaja is one of the most recognisable fine wine brands and considered the acme of Barbaresco. In fact, Angelo Gaja introduced several practices to Piedmont, starting in 1961 by experimenting with green harvesting and single vineyard production, which began with Sori San Lorenzo in 1967, Sori Tildin in 1970 and Costa Russi in 1978. He introduced malolactic fermentation to Piedmont and from 1975 started using French barriques, although by modernist standards he is still reserved in their use. The younger Gaja generation have now begun to take the reins, with Gaia, Giovanni and Rossana running the show. This change coincides with developments towards sustainable farming, as a response to climate change, which is something the family take very seriously.

The 2018 Gaja Barbaresco is 100% Nebbiolo from a blend of seven different vineyards, including Cosa Russi and Sori Tilden, all at an altitude between 250 and 330 metres above sea level from vines with an average age of 45 years. The grapes from each vineyard undergo separate fermentation and maceration, then spend 12 months ageing in barrique, followed by 12 months in large oak casks. Nebbiolo gets affected by small differences in soil type and of course climate. They are fastidious about the health of every vine in their stunning vineyards and this taken with the diversity and flexibility, helps them create the famous balance and complexity.