Product information

Gaja Barbaresco ‘Costa Russi’ MAGNUM 2017

Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy

$2,200

Closure: Cork
A cooler site than Sorì Tildin! Costa Russi is the Russian Hill ... All is explained in the film 🎥 inside!

Description

Gaja’s Sorì Tildin and Costa Russi, are not names of vineyards, rather names of wines. Both are sourced from the Roncagliette Cru facing each other across the contours fo the vineyard. A Costa is the side of a hill in a more of a valley. 4,200 plants per hectare.

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Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Gaja-Vineyards-Sori-Tildin-Costa-Rusi

About Gaja

*The following is an extract of an article published in the Wine Bites Mag “An Afternoon with Gaia Gaja” which included much more on Gaja than on this page.

Gaja is at once both one of the world’s wine icons and a controversial winery bucking “traditional wisdom” often being the trend setter rather than the follower.  For me, it’s a sign that the Gaja’s have passion, focus, and, that they are pushing the boundaries.

Gaia Gaja sharing her passion of Barbaresco for Wine Decoded by Paul Kaan

I’ve been fortunate to devour Gaja’s wines from over 5 decades of production. One thing has been clear, they are evolving and pushing to make the best wines they can. This evolution has not been insulated from changes in the wine world. Historically, across the world’s greatest wine regions, think Barolo, Barbaresco, Burgundy, Tuscany, traditional winemaking has been interrupted by curiosity with the potential of new world winemaking techniques. Gaja has not been immune from this trend, use of high levels of new oak has being the most obvious example. Something I’m glad to say has been tempered in recent times.

History

Gaja has a long history stretching back to it’s very beginnings in 1859. The transformation from an largely unknown winery in a region, not valued by consumers to one of the worlds most famous wineries in a very special region certainly didn’t happen overnight.

Gaia Gaja shared with us the history of Barbaresco, the Gaja winery, the challenge of establishing recognition for the region and what the future holds. One thing is certain, the Gaja’s aren’t afraid of pushing against the rules, some rules are meant to be broken. They have had to declassify their Barbaresco from DOCG status simply because the rules don’t fit what they believe is the best way to make their wine. With a nifty slight of tongue, Gaia, refers to this as a reclassification. A simple example being that they tend to pick early before the permitted time for a DOCG to pick. Why because higher vine density, lower yield per vine, flavour ripeness earlier, better natural acid etc. If they waited they could have DOCG, but, they would not be giving their fruit the best opportunity to shine.

What Separates Exceptional Wineries?

When you look at the great wine producers of the world they often have many things in common. Two of those being passion and continuity.

Passion just makes sense. Continuity well that’s a challenge. Good vignerons are always looking at their wines and vineyards, trying to make them yummier, healthier, more balanced, often by doing less, but, doing it better. Having the knowledge of the past, interrogating trends to find often simple ways to improve is critical. Seeing a vineyard in a cool years, hot years, observing the little patch of vineyard that is not performing and nurturing it. Some wineries employ precision agriculture with high tech imaging of vineyards, others, the eyes of trusted colleagues who have worked with them for decades. These eyes come to know each site, each vine and tend to them like they would a child. This philosophy has given them an intimate understanding of their terroir.

This is precisely the reason Gaja only employ permanent staff. Like many of the world’s great estates Gaja shifted from buying fruit to supplement production to buying and controlling great sites. In the early years as the Gaja Estate expanded, they were forced to purchase old run down houses with vineyards. Over time these have been restored and are now offered rent free to their staff.

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The 2016 Vintage at Gaja

2016 has come at just the right time. We have a number of winemakers with incredible experience and wine wisdom. The vineyards in Barbaresco & Barolo are in the best condition they’ve been in with incredible detail going into their care.

Combined we have a situation where vignerons are in the best possible position to make the most of the great fruit yielded by the 2016 harvest!

When you compare the 2015 & 2016 vintages you see the difference between a warmer vintage with a shorter ripening period and a cooler one with the longest ripening period in memory.

Nebbiolo responds beautifully to a cooler longer ripening. Once it reaches sugar level high enough to make a wine around 14-14.5% alcohol the sugar levels stop increasing, it tends to hold its acid and the tannins so important to the insane mouthfeel of Nebbiolo ripen and increase in depth.

Such vintages tend to offer wines with more perfume, energy, and, vitality.

Where in the World is Gaja

Gaja has holdings in Barbaresco with Cantina Gaja, Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino with Cantina Pieve S. Restituta, in Bolgheri with Cantina Ca’Marcanda, and, now on the slopes of Mount Etna in a JV with Graci. Their home will always be Barbaresco.

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 98 points 

The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is ripe, creamy and enveloping, as it so often is, and yet also preserves the super classic sense of structure that runs through all these wines. In 2016, Costa Russi has an extra touch of mid-palate sweetness that gives the wine its sense of immediacy. Succulent red cherry, rosewater, kirsch, mint and dried flowers meld together in the glass. Soft and sensual, with tons of allure, Costa Russi is another winner from Gaja. Time in the glass brings out the wine's density and tannins, both of which it has in spades.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous

95 points

Dark-skinned berry, coconut and balsamic aromas of eucalyptus shape the nose along with a whiff of rose petal. On the tense, youthfully austere palate, taut, fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity support red cherry, cranberry, orange zest, brown pepper and a hint of tobacco. Give it time to fully develop. Drink 2024–2041.

Kerrin O'Keefe, The Wine Enthusiast

97 Points

Beautiful dried strawberries, flowers and cedar with hints of tar. Full body, round and rich tannins with lots of cedar, tar and tobacco, as well as a hint of chocolate powder. Lovely, long and caressing finish. Gorgeous again. Better after 2022.

James Suckling

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Gaja, Via Torino, Barbaresco, Piedmont, Province of Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy

Barbaresco
Piedmont
Italy