gaja, barolo, sperss 2014
More forward and in a more earthly realm than the dizzying heights of the Conteisa this vintage, but it’s so endearing and immediately delights. The aromas range from elderberries and black cherries to brambleberries and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and structured with powerful tannins that encase bright and forthright blue fruit, which is polished over by a sheen of glimmering acidity. Long finish. Delicious now, but better in 2022.
Sperss comes from two crus in Serralunga, and like Gaja's Barbarescos it's aged in a combination of barriques and large barrels. As so often is the case, it's a wine that combines power and finesse. It has a subdued cherry nose with a touch of oak, leading to a palate which is rich, powerful and tannic, but not too assertive. It's well balanced and fleshy, with lots of velvety texture and grain, and there's still an underlying freshness and finesse. Very long finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2035
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
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.