Gaja Sperss 2009
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Sperss is a term affectionately used to denote nostalgia for precious things lost with time - a homage to the origins of the winery and the generations who built it. When the Gaja family decided to stop acquiring fruit from the other growers and bottle only estate-grown grapes, in 1961, it was a bold and difficult move. It would help to ensure a high standard of quality, but it also meant that for the first time in the winery's history, it would not be able to produce a Barolo. In 1988, nearly three decades after that fateful decision was made, the GAJA winery purchased a 30-acre farm in Serralunga d'Alba and rechristened it Sperss.
International Wine Cellar
Good deep red. Knockout, almost liqueur-like nose combines plum, redcurrant, red licorice, marzipan, menthol, tobacco and loamy earth. Large-scaled, broad and deep, with its powerful sweetness leavened by strong minerality and a distinct medicinal reserve. As concentrated as a solid. The slowly building finish shows inexorable length, saturating the palate with salty minerality. I'd bet on this one for the long haul.
Score: 96, Stephen Tanzer, December 2013
The 2009 Sperss sees fruit sourced from Serralunga d'Alba and those telltale signs of the territory are definitely on full display. The power, added structure and thicker density of the wine speak to this corner of the Barolo denomination. Bold cherry and spice are rounded off by leather, tobacco and a touch of toasted Alba hazelnut. The finish is soft and caressing even at this young stage, yet the wine still needs more time to evolve. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.
Score: 95, Monica Larner, June 2013
Some very ripe fruit aromas of dried berries, Christmas pudding and some hints of soy sauce and dried meats. Full body, chewy and tangy with lots of cedar and hints of lavender. Lively and muscular. More tannic than the Conteisa and needs another three to four years of bottle age to resolve.
Score: 94, July 2013
This rich, velvety red boasts complex black cherry, plum and spice aromas and flavors. The tannins are dense and ripe, adding refinement and lift on the lingering, minerally aftertaste. This tightly wound version needs some time to unwind. Best from 2017 through 2032.
Score: 93, Bruce Sanderson, December 15, 2013
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