gaja, barolo, sperss 2008
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Sperss is exotic, dark and totally seductive. Black cherries, mint, licorice, flowers, spices and juniper berries meld together in the glass, all supported by firm, insistent tannins. Today the Sperss has begun to shut down in bottle. It isn't anywhere near as expressive as the Conteisa, but that will come in time. There is so much to look forward to, but readers will have to be patient. In time, the 2008 Sperss will be yet another viscerally thrilling wine. Sperss is made from the Marenca and Rivette vineyards in Serralunga. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2048.
Gaja's Sperss was once a Barolo but now occupies a category all its own as a Nebbiolo from the Langhe region—the producer famously declassified his top wines. This shows extreme elegance and sophistication with fine nuances of forest fruit, spice, dried tobacco, licorice and Spanish cedar. The finish is long, polished and bright. Drink after 2020.
This has a crazy intensity with a big hit of new wood but loads of ripe yet subtle fruit, from plums to dark berries. Full and chewy with round tannins and a long, persistent finish. Turns to licorice and spice in the aftertaste. Better in 2016.
There's a lot of toasty oak framing the black cherry, tobacco and spice flavors in this suave, powerful red. Balanced overall, with plenty of fruit, but needs time to integrate more fully. Displays a fine mix of fruit and spice on the aftertaste. Best from 2016 through 2035.