2009 Gaja ‘Conteisa’ Nebbiolo
Langhe, Piedmont, Italy
Made From: Nebbiolo, Barbera
Tastes Like: Dried Cherries, Tobacco, Roses
Gaja is one of Piedmont’s, and indeed Italy’s, most iconic producers, with a reputation that could be described as falling somewhere between Tuscany’s Antinori and Bordeaux’s Lafite. They hold an extremely important role in the resurrection of Nebbiolo as a prized grape, something we are forever grateful for. The only reason this incredible wine isn’t called a “Barolo” is the inclusion of 7% Barbera in addition to the Nebbiolo grape. It certainly smells and tastes like a Barolo, with classic aromas of roses, red currant, and licorice that lead into tar and spices on the palate.
“The 2009 Conteisa sees fruit harvested from the Cerequio cru in La Morra and is one of two ‘Barolo-inspired’ wines made by the Gaja family. A small percentage of Barbera is added to the blend. Very expressive of the cru, Conteisa opens with a beautifully floral footprint of pressed rose and blue violets followed by bright cherry, cassis, chopped mint, licorice, tar, ginger and delicately smoked cedar. Again, the complexity is mind-blowing. The wine glides effortlessly over the palate, but make no mistake, that tight, tannic austerity kicks in at the back.” – 96 Points, Wine Advocate
“Elegant, vibrant, and beautifully balanced, this features cherry and raspberry fruit aligned with a firm, harmonious structure. Licorice, tar and spice notes chime in, with a lingering finish of cherry, tobacco and menthol. Shows great energy and drive.” – 95 Points, Wine Spectator
“Plentiful red fruits here with hints of toffee and dried flowers on the nose. Full-bodied and tannic with chocolate and orange peel on the palate. Flavorful finish.” – 95 Points, James Suckling