2021 Gaja Langhe Gaia & Rey
The Gaia & Rey is a beautiful wine: a mineral, pure chardonnay, full of tropical fruit and with silky, elegant tannins (!). The taste is rich, with concentrated ripe fruit, balanced by lively fresh acidity. The aftertaste just keeps on going. For those with patience: 'Gaia & Rey is only at its best after about 5 years of cellar aging.
Gaja was convinced that Langhe not only has a beautiful soil for the cultivation of red grape varieties. He also saw it as a distinct challenge to make wines in his own Piemonte from the white varieties Chardonnay and Sauvignon.
Gaja named his first chardonnay vineyard in Langhe, planted in 1979, after his daughter Gaia and grandmother Clothilde Rey. The grapes for 'Gaia & Rey' come from poor, hard volcanic soil. After a rigorous selection, they are crushed and then fermented in stainless steel vats for four weeks at a constant temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. Only the yeasts naturally present in the vineyard are used. After fermentation, the juice is laid to rest for 6 to 8 months in oak barrels, where another malolactic fermentation takes place.
The history of winery Gaja starts in 1859, the year in which Giovanni Gaja, a local grape grower in Barbaresco, Piemonte, founded a wine company under his own name. A generation later, it is Angelo, grandfather of the current owner, who continues to make wine with the same determination as his father. He is supported in this by Clotilde Rey with whom he marries in 1905. They teach their scion Giovanni named after his grandfather so that as a winemaker you should not make any concessions; nothing should be at the expense of the quality of the wine.
In 1961 Giovannis son Angelo works in the family business. After graduating as an economist from the University of Turin and graduating from the School of Viticulture & Oenology in Alba, the young Angelo left abroad for an internship at wine farms in Bordeaux, Burgundy, along the Rin and in California. Full of fresh ideas, he had now returned to his native Piemonte. When Angelo Gaja took over his parents' company in 1970, he asked his old classmate and winemaker Guido Rivella to assist him. Together they implement a number of revolutionary changes for the region. For example, they sometimes reduce yields per hectare by up to half the number of liters allowed, they experiment with vinification methods, the planting of new - both red and white - grape varieties and pioneering ripening techniques. The results are astonishing and Gaja conquers the world with his beautiful Barbaresco's - the company's flagship.
The nebbiolo grapes for the Barbaresco of Gaja traditionally came from different vineyards. Angelos' father, grandfather and his father did just that before. Although young Angelo would not end this tradition, he launched a new line of Barbaresco's from a single vineyard. Interest in these experimental single vinyard wines became more and more popular. As a proponent of a dynamic, purely quality-oriented wine culture, the brilliant winemaker decides from 1996 to completely break with what he considers to be a conservative and restrictive Italian designation of origin. Only his traditional Barbaresco is still on the market as a prestigious DOCG. He deliberately 'declassifies' all other red single vineyard wines into regional Langhe Nebbiolo DOC. These are the Sorì San Lorenzo, the Sorì Tildìn and the Costa Russi. Gajas Barolo Sperss also underwent the same name change. With the exception of the Dagromis Barolo DOCG, Sito Moresco and Conteisa de Langhe also bear DOC. Langhe DOC is also on the label of his white toppers from Piemonte, the Rossj-Bass, Alteni di Brassica and Gaia & Rey. After all, for Gaja the abbreviation does not guarantee good quality of a wine but the name of the producer.
|Type of Wine||White|
|Drinking as of||2024|
|James Suckling rating||96|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Rich, Round, Full, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Cadeau!, Lekker luxe, Met vrienden, Open haard, Romantisch|