Gaja Wine Dinner at Fox Fine Wines – Tuesday 12th November @7pm

 

Planet of the Grapes.
Gaja Wine Dinner

Fox Fine Wines
Tuesday 12th November at 7pm

The Gaja Story

Legend is a much-overused word; not least in the wine industry, but it’s hard to think of any better description of Angelo Gaja. “The undisputed king of Barbaresco” and “the man who dragged Piedmont into the modern world” are two often quoted alternatives. There have been very few steps on the way to Piedmont’s emergance as a force in wine that Angelo Gaja didn’t play a major part in, and his influence isn’t just limited to his own region; his two estates in Tuscany have forged their own reputations for fearless innovation and peerless quality.

When Angelo joined the family Barbaresco estate in the early 1960s, things didn’t seem quite so promising; the wines of the Langhe were in the doldrums and Nebbiolo was barely known outside Italy. Over the following years he tore up the rule book and established Gaja as one of the driving forces in Italian wine. In the process, he has ruffled a few feathers; planting international grapes in Nebbiolo vineyards; introducing foreign wine-making methods, and pulling his wines out of the DOCG system (and putting them back in), but his reputation has never faltered; the wines have always justified his risk-taking.

On Tuesday 12th of November at Fox Fine Wines we will be organising a very special wine dinner, presented by Gaja’s Francesca Cioce and serving wines from each of Angelo Gaja’s four bases; Barbaresco, Barolo, Tuscany’s Maremma and Montalcino. The aim is to showcase the astonishing breadth of Gaja’s production, and to pour wines that most of us will have only seen on wine lists.

The Estates and the Wines

 

Ca’ Marcanda in Bolgheri was bought by Angelo Gaja in 1996 after years of negotitiations, hence it’s name; the rough translation being “house of endless discussions”. One of the stoniest sites in Bolgheri; a combination of terre blanche and terre brune soils, most of the wines avoid using the Bolgheri DOC and are instead labelled as IGT Toscana.

Vistamare 2018
The White wine from Ca’ Marcanda is a unique blend of Vermentino, Viognier and Fiano. Viognier ripens fully in the maritime climate, whilst the Italian varieties offer acidity and freshness to balance its weight and perfume.

Magari 2016
A Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, grown on terre blanche and terre brunesoils; the wine is aged in new and used barriques for 18 months. Magari means ‘perhaps’, which seems unfair!

 

Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino was purchased in 1994, and its two Brunellos are firmly established with the finest of the region. The 16 hectares of vineyard are planted with only Sangiovese, demonstrating that Gaja isn’t just a Nebbiolo specialist, and that he can play by the rules when he wants to.

Brunello di Montalcino 2013
A blend of tradition and modernity, so typical of Angelo Gaja; This Brunello is aged for a year in French barriques and a further year in large oak botti, and comes from the excellent 2013 vintage.

 

Barolo was made by Gaja until 1961, from brought-in grapes, but it wasn’t until 1988 that Gaja purchased vineyards in the region; in Serralunga and La Morra, and started to produce Barolo from their own estate. Sperss and Conteisa come from Serralunga d’Alba and La Morra respectively, whilst Dagromis is a blend of both.

Barolo Sperss 2014
Sperss, in Piedmontese dialect, means “nostalgia” and refers to Angelo’s feelings about returning to Serralunga d’Alba in 1988. Gaja’s estate straddles the Margheria and Marenca vineyards and Sperss has all the power and elegance one would expect from these important crus. 

 

Barbaresco remains the heart of the Gaja operation and the source of their best-known wines. Three fabulously expensive single vineyard wines; sold as Barbaresco; as Langhe Rosso, and then as Barbaresco again, generate most of the hype, but it’s the estate Barbaresco; first produced in 1859, that remains the Gaja flagship wine.

Barbaresco 2015
From no less than fourteen vineyards in Barberesco and Treiso, Gaja’s Barbaresco is the standard-bearer for the tradition of blending wines from different sites, and fetches a higher price than all but a handful of single-cru wines. A year in barrique and a year in large oak.

Barbaresco 2007
It isn’t often one gets the chance to compare a current vintage of Gaja Barbaresco with another approaching its peak. The 2007 vintage was not dissimilar to 2015; warm and highly-rated, so the main difference will be the eight years of development in bottle!

The Wine Dinner

This is no ordinary wine dinner; wines of this quality are sadly both expensive and in short supply, and getting Francesca from Gaja to host the dinner is a wonderful bonus. It isn’t cheap, but it promises to be a memorable evening for those lucky enough to be there!

On Arrival –

Smoked Haddock Croquettes

Goats Cheese Mousse Tartlets

Zucchini Fritti

Served with –

Ca’ Marcanda Vistamare 2018

First Course –

Saddle of Lamb stuffed with Mint, Pecorino and Stimpirata

Served with –

Ca’ Marcanda Magari 2016 and Brunello di Montalcino Restituta 2013

Second Course –

Jerusalem Artichoke with Truffle Tortellini and Fresh Truffle

Served with – 

Sito Moresco 2016

Third Course –

Risotto Milanese with Braised Veal Breast

Served with –

Barbaresco 2015 & 2007

Selection of Italian Cheese

Served with –

Barolo Sperss 2014

Dessert –

Lavender and Honey Panna Cotta

Served with –

Grappa

Tickets – £250 each