Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gaja Sori Tildin 1997 – Red Wine from Piemonte

Gaja is one of the two best producers in Piemonte. Their wines can be consumed immediately upon commercialization. This is unusual and demands a premium in price as most high level red wines are better with age.

Sori Tildin is a 95% Nebbiolo and 5% Barbera mix. We chose this wine to accompany the Cipolline alla Senape Arancione. The 5% Barbera grape would increase the fruitiness of the wine and be a good mix with the sweetness of the onions. We thought it would also be a great precursor to Barbaresco planned with the cannelloni. This wine is rated as one of the most exclusive in the world by many rating associations.

The Gaja Winery was founded by Giovanni Gaja in 1859 and has been owned and operated by four generations of the Gaja family. Giovanni Gaja was the great-grandfather of Angelo Gaja, the Winery's current owner. In 1994 Gaja acquired its first wine estate in Tuscany, Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino. The property's forty acres of vineyards produce two Brunello di Montalcino wines called Sugarille and Rennina.

The word "Sorì" means a hilltop with a southern exposure. "Tildìn" was the nickname of Angelo Gaja's grandmother, Clothilde Rey. She was a visionary who was instrumental in acquiring some of the choicest parcels for the Gaja Estate, as well as being the inspiration behind Angelo's continuous quest to innovate.

Color: Deep purple.

Aroma: Complex aromas of toast, minerals, sour cherries, cedar and spices.

Taste: Displays the roundest tasting profile of all Gaja single-vineyard wines. The rich body, subtle texture and fine, ripe tannins are typical for this wine of great finesse, the quintessential expression of the land and the Nebbiolo grape. This wine has extraordinary aging potential--more than forty years in outstanding vintages.

Aging: 12 months in barrels followed by 12 months in large oak casks

Personally, I found the wine to be too young. The fruitiness was dominant while I expected it to be complimentary. Considering it was an 8 year old I would probably not try this again for at least another 4 years.

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