Gaja Sperss 2014
Underbrush, tobacco, toasted hazelnut, menthol and grilled herb aromas slowly take shape on this focused red. On the structured elegant palate, taut refined tannins and fresh acidity provide an ageworthy framework for raspberry compote, juicy Marasca cherry, orange zest, white pepper and star anise. It already has layers of depth and loads of finesse, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022-2030.
This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. But Serralunga d'Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular.
The 2014 Barolo Sperss is an attractive wine from Gaja's vineyards in Serralunga. There is good depth to the succulent black cherry, plum, smoke and licorice flavors, although it doesn't quite have the explosiveness or power of the very best years. Because of the wine's slender personality, the oak is a bit more evident than is typically the case. The Sperss also feels a bit forced in terms of extraction and oak, especially next to the Conteisa, where the choices have turned out to be more successful in bringing out the best the vintage has to offer.
Cherry, hay, leather, iron and spice aromas and flavors are the hallmarks of this linear red. Chewy and compact, with fine complexity and a lingering finish. Best from 2023 through 2040.