2012 Gaja Barbaresco
So perfumed with black cherry, strawberry and flowers. Tar undertones. Brick, too. Some minerals. Stone fruit. Full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Barbaresco with clarity and finesse. This has some wine from the top crus of Gaja such as Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo in the blend because they were not bottled. Drink or hold.
*Editors' Choice* In 2012, Gaja didn’t bottle his single-vineyard crus because they didn’t reach his high quality standards, and many of the grapes from these celebrated vineyards finished in this elegant, firmly structured wine. It opens with enticing aromas of perfumed berry, pressed violet and sweet baking spice. On the palate, a backbone of tightly woven but refined tannins support black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, anise and tobacco. It’s rather austere and still in its infancy so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2018–2032.
New oak adds vanilla and toast to the expressive cherry and berry fruit in this dense red, presenting a layer of tannins that will require time to integrate. Much better with air, staying fresh, focused and long. Best from 2018 through 2028.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Barbaresco shows different DNA from its previous incarnations. Angelo Gaja usually blends fruit from 14 vineyard sites to make this wine. Starting with this vintage, he has opted to reduce that number to eight vineyards instead. The change is subtle, but you can taste it. At this young stage in the wine's life I was unsure of the results. This Barbaresco is more austere, thorny and nervous compared to the super supple and rich vintages of the immediate past. The nose shows dark fruit follow by cola, garden herb and white pepper. The mouthfeel is silky and firm and edgy. (ML)
The 2012 Barbaresco is lifted, precise and gracious in style. Sweet red cherry, cranberry, wild flowers and mint are all laced together in a delicate, understated Barbaresco that will drink well early. The 2012 is supremely classy and polished, but it is also unusually accessible for a young Gaja wine. In 2012, Gaja did not bottle their three single-vineyard wines from Barbaresco. Instead, all of the fruit went into the estate's Barbaresco bottling. (AG)