DOC Langhe, Angelo Gaja, 2018
Intense purplish red colour with lovely dark hue. The bouquet offers noble aromas of wild berries and is not dominated by oak. On palate this wine is pleasant when young because of its soft, elegant tannins, but this does not detract from its longevity.
|Origin:||Italien / Piemont / Barbaresco|
|Grape variety:||Nebbiolo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 10 years|
|Serving temperature:||16 to 18 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Spiced grillades, Rabbit ragout with olives, Roasted lamb gigot, Wild fowl, Tagliatelle al tartufo, Risotto with ceps|
|Vinification:||long must fermentation, fermentation in steel tank|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection|
|Maturation:||in large wooden barrel/foudre, in new barriques|
|Maturation duration:||12 months|
Italy – Where wine is a way of life
The Italian wine regions are extremely diverse, and this is made clear in their wines. Established varieties such as Merlot, Syrah, and Sauvignon can be found on just 15 percent of the total vine growing area. The remaining 85 percent is reserved for autochthonous, indigenous varieties. More than 2,000 different grape varieties are grown under diverse conditions and pressed with various techniques into wines that reach the top tier of the international wine market.
The backbone of Bordeaux
The Cabernet Sauvignon gives the Bordeaux its backbone, yielding deep violet wines with powerful tannins and endless ripening potential. It is the top dog in Médoc, and is placed in all five premier crus of Bordelais. When young, it often appears strict and unapproachable, but with advancing years, its tannins round off. It is wonderfully velvety, and yet always maintains its freshness. Typical flavours include cassis, graphite and cedar. Wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is found, Merlot is not far away. It complements the robust structure of Cabernet with softness, fruit and richness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the most-exported vine in the world. It delivers persuasive qualities in Italy as an ingredient of the Super Tuscan, or as the flagship variety from California. There, it is lovingly titled “Cab Sauv”. Meat fans should be aware that it fantastically accompanies a grilled entrecôte. The family tree of Cabernet Sauvignon is surprising: its parents are Cabernet Franc and the white Sauvignon blanc.
Merlot is the most charming member of the Bordeaux family. It shines with rich colour, fragrant fullness, velvety tannins and sweet, plummy fruit. It even makes itself easy for the vintner, as it matures without issue in cool years as well. This is in contrast to the stricter Cabernet Sauvignon, which it complements as a blending partner. Its good qualities have made the Merlot famous worldwide. At over 100,000 hectares, it is the most-planted grape in France. It also covers large areas in California, Italy, Australia and recently in Eastern Europe. The only catch is that pure Merlot varieties rarely turn out well. Its charm is often associated with a lack of substance. Only the best specimens improve with maturity. They then develop complex notes of leather and truffles. This succeeds in the top wines from the Bordeaux appellation of Pomerol and those from Ticino, among others.
It’s the king of Piedmont: the most sought-after wines come from Nebbiolo. It reaches its highest expression in Barolo and Barbaresco. Its acidic, tannin-rich wines in its youth are often unapproachable. With maturity, however, it develops an ethereal bouquet of cherry, liquorice, violet and rose, as well as truffles, tar and forest floor. Nebbiolo takes its name from the Italian “Nebbia”, meaning fog. This not because of the weather in Piedmont, but due to the whitish film on the ripe, red berries. It was first mentioned by this name in the 13th century. Much like the Pinot noir, Nebbiolo can precisely reflect its terroir, but only if it is really pleased with where it is. It likes cool climates and calcareous soils. Attempts have been made to transplant it, for example, to California, but the results were disappointing. It feels most comfortable in the hills of northern Italy.