Gaja Barbaresco 2004

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Gaja Barbaresco 2004

Though Gaja Barbaresco 2004 is now a couple of vintages old it didn’t really give me the excuse I needed to drink it. So I’m going to blame it on the credit crunch. This may be a £100 bottle of vino but I already own it, so in real terms, that makes it free right? And free wine is the most delicious wine of all. OK, so it didn’t have 10+ years of age on it and was no where near its drinking window, but it was still incredible wine and if the Italians refuse to wait for their Piedmont treasures to mature then neither will I.
So this is what a bottle of Gaja Barbaresco looks like. Elegant, refined, classic good looks, the hallmark of Italian craftsmanship. And this is what I look like. All the same adjectives can be applied.

I’ve written about Angelo Gaja’s wines so many times on wine90 that you’d be mistaken for thinking Gaja is my favourite Italian producer, well in terms of continued quality, quest for excellence and willingness to experiment, then Gaja is but these wines lack something I love more and that is QPR.

Gajas entire range, from the Chardonnay to the Sperrs, from the vineyards of the Piedmont to those in Tuscany, produce wines of a good standard, though from prices ranging from £20-£250, not a one of them could be called a “value buy”.

You can buy the Sito Moresco (nebbiolo), Cremes (dolcetto) and Promis (super tuscan) wines for a £20 note each but there are better wines from all 3 varietals selling cheaper. We know from experience, whether it’s handbags or cars, when a luxury brand releases products for the masses, they are rarely of high quality. You’re paying for the name, duck. That being said, the very best wines from Gaja, from the Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards are among the best wines produced in the world.

It is pretty much agreed that, challenged only by Giacosa, Gaja is the king of Barbaresco and with 2004 being a superb vintage in the Piedmont this bottle of wine was never going to be anything less than excellent. My review of the 2005 effort was less favourable by just two points and I’m going against the grain of expert opinion here as 2005 is rated by Galloni as a better bottle than the 2004. In my humble, the 2004 is not only more complex than the 2005 but will age better too, in the end they are two different bottles of wine, which you prefer is up to you.

Gaja Barbaresco 2004BUY – €116
A mid ruby red in the glass. The nose is surprisingly open, obvious aromas of wood, tar and floral notes. A mid bodied wine. On the palate the wine is smooth, tannic but so well ingrained, this is all structure and balance, little light on the mid palate but the initial attack and finish are opulent. The alcohol makes itself known on the finish which is lengthy with good fruit, dark berries. 95 Points

Clearly too young, still very enjoyable, luckily for me it’s not my only bottle.

Where can I buy this wine?
Americans – America’s wine shop – $123 (deal!)
Europeans – Enoteca Piccolomini – €116
Brits – Speciality Wines – £98

Leave a Comment
Leave comments on any Gaja wines you enjoy or have tried… or indeed do not like. Comment on the Ikea blinds. Anything you fancy.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Lucy says:

    Most of Gajas wines are a rip off. The worst being Darmaji. This wine is totally over priced. Have you tried it?

  2. Anders says:

    We have a blog in Finland that is also for Italian wines. I follow you now on Twitter and have enjoy the wines of Gaja for many years but for more the Barolo.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Sito Moresco isn’t a bad wine but I’ve yet to be impressed with the offerings from Ca’Marcanda. The marketing is good though there isn’t a major wine shop online not selling them.

  4. Kyle says:

    Just stumbled on your blog… some interesting info… and, good reading.

    In 2004, I opened and drank a bottle of 1984 Gaja Barbaresco that had been given to me as a gift years before. We made a big deal about it… invited some friends over for an Italian dinner.. Had a bottle or two of my lesser favorites (Luna Santo, Wolf Blass)…. We decanted the Gaja and gave it plenty of time to open…. then, drank it.

    I can honestly say, that was the FIRST time I ever understood why anyone would pay more than $25 for a bottle of wine. It was the most incredible experience… I could actually feel waves of flavor moving across my tongue… in an ever-changing kaleidescope that lasted 30-45 seconds… literally. Afterwards, I was like a crack addict looking for the next fix. My Wolf Blass tasted like Welch's grape juice…. I've now got two bottles of 1998 and 2004… waiting…. waiting… 🙂 Someday soon….. I hope.

  5. Kyle says:

    One final thing…. I visited Gaja wineries a few years ago… and, found another little family winery just next door, La Contea… Their RipaSorita is MUCH cheaper than Gaja… and, it grows on the same hills….. It's pretty darn good.

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