2016 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo

Year: 2016
Appellation: Piedmont
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 97
Wine Advocate: 98
Vinous Media: 98+
James Suckling: 99
Jeb Dunnuck: 99
Wine Enthusiast: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%

Pre-Order
DUE IN: MARCH 2020

Price :
$499.95

"Features sweet ripe cherry, plum, eucalyptus, tobacco and spice flavors. The texture is tightly woven and refined, while vibrant acidity drives the long finish. Shows wonderful harmony and the potential for aging. Best from 2023 through 2045. 175 cases imported. -BS" (WS)

"If the Barbaresco Costa Russi expresses itself with purity and grace, the 2016 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo struts out stacked and tall. It has firmer textural support and is not as timid or as withholding as the Costa Russi. The Sorì San Lorenzo site is located closest to the warm air currents that travel down the Tanaro River valley, and this vineyard site is always the first to ripen and be harvested. You get a stronger mineral note here with iron rust, pencil shaving and potting soil intertwined with the primary fruit, showing dazzlingly intricate complexity and depth. This vineyard site suffered in the 2017 vintage from some hail damage that hit on July 19. The quality of fruit is expected to be good, Gaia Gaja tells me, but yields will be reduced next year." (WA)

"The 2016 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is an eternal wine that will need 10-15 years in bottle to truly come around. Sorì San Lorenzo is often a big, virile wine. There is plenty of heft to the 2016, but at the same time, I also find an element of refinement and nuance that Sorì San Lorenzo has rarely, if ever, shown. Black cherry, cloves, menthol, licorice, gravel and incense are some of the many aromas and flavor that meld together in this dramatic and dramatically beautiful Barbaresco from the Gaja family. The Sorì San Lorenzo just explodes on the finish, with an array of aromas, flavors and textures that will leave readers weak at the knees. The 2016 is an outrageously beautiful, vivid wine of real gravitas and power." (VM)

"Glorious aromas of ripe strawberries, cherries and orange peel with flowers and stones and some incense. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with fantastic depth of fruit and ripe tannins. It goes on for minutes. One of the most structured Sori San Lorenzos in a long time." (JS)

"Another wine with a Burgundian silkiness (tannins this good can be hard to find in young Nebbiolo), the 2016 Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo offers a more exotic bouquet of spiced red plums, licorice, dried herbs, rose petals, and flowery incense. This is a ripe, incredibly sexy, opulent Barbaresco that stays pure, ultra-refined, and elegant on the palate, with both tannins and acidity perfectly integrated. As with the Sori Tildin, it took plenty of air to show at its best, and despite offering incredibly pleasure today due to its balance and ripe tannins, it's needs 5-7 years of bottle age and will cruise for 25 years or more." (JD)

"Cellar Selection, Rose petal, camphor, eucalyptus and dark-skinned-berry aromas shape the nose on this captivating wine. Vibrant and intense, the palate evokes spiced cranberry, red cherry, licorice, espresso and a hint of orange zest alongside taut, fine-grained tannins. It's still youthfully austere but already balanced, with firm acidity. Drink 2024–2041. -Kerin O’Keefe" (WE)

Winery Notes:
This wine made history when it became one of the earliest single-vineyard bottlings of Nebbiolo in Piedmont with the 1967 vintage. Sourced from the GAJA winery's top growing site, San Lorenzo, located just south of the village of Barbaresco in the famed cru Secondine, the wine is made with 95% Nebbiolo grapes and 5% Barbera. This practice hails back to the earliest era of Barbaresco, when the lighter-bodied Barbera was traditionally blended into the tannic Nebbiolo to temper its power and structure.

In 2000, with the release of the legendary 1996 vintage, GAJA decided to reclassify this wine and use the Langhe DOC appellation on the label, ommitting the Barbaresco DOCG. In part, the motivation for this change was purely semantic. As the number of single-vineyard bottlings grew in the 1990s, their popularity began to eclipse the importance of the traditional, classic Barbaresco, a cuvee or blend of many different vineyards. In a sense, the gesture was meant as a testament to the winery's steadfast belief that Barbaresco is one of the great wines of the world and should be accompanied rather than overshadowed by its single-vineyard fellows.