Outspoken and pioneering, Angelo Gaja has done much to change the landscape of the wines of Barbaresco. He took over the reins of the family estate from his father Giovanni in 1970 and started his process of modernization almost immediately. By the time of the 1978 vintage, he replaced the traditional large bottle in favour of French barriques, a step which caused many heads to turn at the time. Today, the business is very much a family affair with his wife and children all playing a vital role in either winemaking, management or marketing of the estate’s wines.
Mostly a red wine producer, Gaja also releases a white blend of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc from estate grown fruit under the Langhe classification called Rossj-Bass. Aged in his characteristic barriques for approximately 6 months it has a rounded character supported by fresh acidity and ripe citrus fruit flavours.
Crisp and luminous, the Langhe Rossj-Bass is Chardonnay enhanced with a tiny part Sauvignon Blanc. This second grape only constitutes 5% of the blend, yet its presence is felt in a big way. The wine presents pristine and sharply delineated tones of exotic fruit, peach and white rose. Fruit is sourced in Barbaresco and in Serralunga d'Alba. This wine delivers a bright spot of acidity that was shaped by the steep diurnal temperature shifts that characterized the tail end of the growing season. Much work has been achieved in the vineyards to optimize farming and to ensure that ripening does not advance too quickly or with too much alcohol.
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