The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Angelo Gaja and…Angelo Gaja!

Posted on | April 6, 2016 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoWhen we think of international grapes in Italy we think of red Super Tuscans. But in Italy’s North, winemakers have experimented with the same vigor as Toscana’s producers; however, they often embrace white grapes, not reds. One such producer is Angelo Gaga. Located in Piemonte in the district of Langhe, Gaja is mainly known for producing Barbaresco and Barolo, but he has long been a maverick and an innovator, credited with developing techniques that have revolutionized winemaking in Italy. The “man who dragged Piedmont into the modern world,” Gaja embraced Chardonnay, and his work with this French grape is almost unparalleled in Italy. I’ve chosen two Chardonnay bottlings from Angelo Gaja that show how great this meeting of Piemonte and French white grape can be.

Gaja Chardonnay 2014 Rossj-Bass $89.99

Coming from several vineyards owned by the estate, Rossj-Bass is composed of Chardonnay with a kiss of Sauvignon Blanc. Named after Angelo Gaja’s youngest daughter Rossana (Rossj), the wine is elegant with a nose of citrus, white flowers and honeydew melon followed by minerality and a slight herbal note. The palate is bright with zingy acidity that sits nicely mid-palate and a nice, lengthy finish that leaves the palate fresh. Drink now to the end of the decade.

Gaja Chardonnay 2005 Gaia & Rey $329.00

The first white wine that Gaja produced, Gaia & Ray derives from Gaja’s first Chardonnay vineyard, which is named after Angelo’s daughter Gaia and his grandmother Clotilde Rey. This wine has a rich, full nose full of honey and citrus notes that mingle with slight stone and floral notes and a hint of toast from the oak. The palate is balanced with bright acidity, ripe fruit, a full mouth-feel, and a long finish that persists for over a minute. Drink now and into the next decade.

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