75cl * 13.5% ABV * DOC Langhe, Piedmont, Italy
Although “behind a great man there is always a great woman”, for Angelo Gaja, one of the producers credited with transforming Piedmont’s international reputation, there have been at least two women involved. This is clear to see in the wine he has made as a tribute and named after his daughter Gaia Gaja and his mother Clotilde Rey. Angelo’s daughter was the first-born of the fifth generation of the Gaja family, and his mother was responsible for leading his grandfather and father towards quality. Two figures that represent the past and the future of the winery and that are now brought together in Gaja Gaia & Rey Langhe.
This wine is made from two vineyards in the Barbaresco and Barolo areas. These are Chardonnay vines planted in 1979 and 1989 on soils that are low in potassium and nitrogen, which limits vine growth and production. Gaja Gaia & Rey Langhe is made using environmentally friendly agriculture and the harvest is carried out manually when the grapes reach optimum ripeness. In the winery, the destemmed, pressed and settled grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is then aged for 6-8 months in 225-litre French oak barrels before being bottled.
With an elegant fruit structure, Gaja's Gaia & Rey Langhe reveals a complexity worthy of a great red wine! A complex and deep Chardonnay, this wine that can age for 3- to 15-years in the bottle. On the palate, it is complex, deep and elegant, creamy with aromas of white fruit, citrus and tropical fruit accompanied by balsamic and toasted notes. A wine full of fruit, with vibrant acidity and an intense, long and expressive finish.
The 2019 Gaia & Rey may be one of the finest vintages I have ever tasted of this white. Creamy, ample and expressive, the 2019 is a wonderfully, classy, polished wine. All the elements come together so effortlessly here. Bright and focused, the 2019 is fabulous and I say that as someone who is not especially fond of Italian Chardonnays. Drink 2022-2029 95 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, September 2021