About the Wine
Costa Russi was acquired by Gaja in 1967 and is named for the nickname of the former owner. With spectacular positioning for extended sunshine, this wine is considered one of the finest gems in the portfolio. Gaia Gaja considers 2014 one of the finest vintages EVER. 2014 was an outstanding vintage (95+ rated by VM). An elegant dame, the super fine tannins make the mouth pucker. Brickish red in color, the wine explodes in the mouth with an amazingly long finish. With decanting, this wine is already enjoyable, but the patient collector will enjoy the wine in 2022 and for up to 25 years. If you can find it, this wine regularly trades at over $500 and invariably gains in price as the supply dwindles.
About the Winery
The Gaja family landed in Piemonte from Spain in the 17th century. Following WWII, Giovanni Gaja acquired large vineyard holdings in the area. His son, Angelo, is considered one of the pioneers of modern winemaking in Italy. After studying wine in Montpellier, he was one of the first to bring French techniques such as barrique barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and modern technical innovations. Yet, he continued to implement extended macerations following fermentation. By raising the level and recognition of Nebbiolo, Angelo Gaja has been commended by every major wine publication in the world and acknowledged as an innovator. Today, his two daughters Gaia and Rossana manage the extensive land holdings and global distribution of this important brand.
Soft contours, silky tannins and sweet, perfumed fruit are some of the signatures in the 2014 Costa Russi. As always, Costa Russi is the most polished and open-knit of these wines in its youth. Succulent fruit, hard candy and lifted, perfumed aromatics give the 2014 considerable early appeal, but I expect time in bottle will work its usual magic. Today, the 2014 is showing only the barest hint of its potential. Even in the early going, though, the Costa Russi is a totally sexy wine. ~96pts, VM
Intense scents of cherry, star anise and iris float out of the glass. It's firmly structured and loaded with finesse, offering crushed raspberry, Marasca cherry, cinnamon and star anise framed fine-grained tannins. Bright acidity lends balance and energy.~ 97 pts, Cellar Selection WE
The 2014 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a beautiful wine that delivers profound color saturation with deep ruby highlights and blackish intensity. I would describe the nose as being more horizontal rather than vertical, if that makes sense. In other words, the bouquet makes its approach with wide intensity and large-scale aromas of black fruit, spice, tar, leather and licorice. It offers fewer of the sudden high notes or moments of sharpness that you get in 2013. Despite the common perception that this was a very cool vintage, the fruit here actually tastes riper and rounder than you might expect. That's because the vintage heat all came toward the end of the growing season, and the Gaja family left fruit on the vines to the end. In the mouth, the wine shows depth and finesse with some stubborn firmness at this young stage. It needs to flesh out further with more bottle aging.~ 94pts WA
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