Gaja’s 2003 Barbaresco may well challenge its bigger siblings as the most successful of these new releases. Made in a style that combines expressive aromatics, the ripeness of the vintage and classic structure, it is an awesome effort. Though it offers plenty of super-ripe fruit and notable concentration, it never comes across as being heavy and displays exceptional overall balance. Gaja’s Barbaresco rarely shows this well so early in the game and my guess is that my score may end up being conservative. 'Oddly enough it was our worst-exposed parcels that performed best in 2003, although I suppose that makes sense given that these plots were more protected from the sun. We did a very severe selection in the cellar and in 2003 we bottled a small amount of Barbaresco, roughly 30,000 bottles as compared to our normal amount of 70,000 bottles. We did a similarly stringent selection with our single-vineyard wines,' adds Gaja. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2021. (AG)
Loads of blackberry, strawberry and cherry follow through to a full-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a fresh finish. Serious for the vintage. Well done. (JS)
Good bright medium red. Red berries and red cherry liqueur on the fairly fresh nose. Large-scaled, rich and very ripe but not cooked, with powerful, concentrated flavors of red berries and spice. Juicy acidity keeps the flavors fresh. The tannins are firm but not dry. (ST)
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