Piedmont, Italy

Sperss Barolo DOP — 2018

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  • Introduction

    • In 1988 the Gaja family purchased twelve hectares of vineyard in one of the best positions in Serralunga. The land was named Sperss, a Piedmontese dialect word meaning nostalgia, that of Giovanni Gaja (Angelo’s father) for the childhood memories linked with Serralunga.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • The Sperss vineyard is located in the Marenca-Rivette sub-area in the municipality of Serralunga. The land, arranged as an amphitheater on a surface of 12 hectares, consists of very compact clay-calcareous marls and has south and south-west facing exposure with an average altitude of 370 m above sea level. The vines are 55 years old on average.

    • Appellation: Barolo DOP
    • First Year of Production: 1988
  • Vintage Report

    • The winter of 2018 was mild and dry, with no snow or rainfall. It was followed by a very rainy and cold spring. An unusual heat wave occurred at the end of April, with temperatures as high as 30°C, (86F) which led to an early bud break. Rain and below average temperatures continued through April, May and June, slowing down the entire growing season (1300 mm of rain from March to June). In particular, between May 1 and June 14, it rained consistently for 24 days, making our effort in the vineyards remarkably intense and complicated. Nevertheless, our longstanding, full-time team was able to overcome the challenges of downy and powdery mildew. A bad hailstorm unfortunately hit Barbaresco on Sunday July 17, resulting in a loss of 30% of the overall production. September 2018 was sunny, fresh, and windy, with no drastic changes in temperature from day to night, which allowed the grapes to continue to ripen. Due to the humid and mild vintage, the Nebbiolo harvest was expected to be delayed, however two hot weeks in mid-September made the grapes ripen faster and shortening the picking time. The harvest finished on October 8th.

  • Vinification

    • Fermentation and maceration for around three weeks followed by ageing in oak for 24 months.

  • Tasting Notes

    • The wine opens up with dominant citrus notes followed by hints of cedar and spices. Complex aromas of juniper, cherry, and ripe plum rise from the glass. Marzipan, sweet spices, turmeric, and licorice from the wood add another layer of flavor. However, it’s a light use of wood that’s balanced with delicate sweetness, fresh spice notes, and tannins; present but not intrusive in the mouth. The wine finishes clean, sharp, yet austere.



  • Sperss Barolo DOP — 2018 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points

    “Juicy and fleshy, evoking cherry, raspberry, floral and licorice flavors. Harmonious and open-knit, this is approachable now, yet should improve over the next five years. The firm, lingering finish picks up a mineral element.”

  • Sperss Barolo DOP — 2018 – Wine Advocate – 97 Points

    “The 2018 Barolo Sperss is impossible to confuse with any other Barolo. The bouquet has a firm, etched quality with dark fruit, pencil shavings, iron and red brick. But there is also a fragrant interlude of wild cherry, forest fruit and orange peel.”

  • Sperss Barolo DOP — 2018 – Vinous – 97 Points

    "The 2018 Barolo Sperss is a gorgeous, gorgeous wine. The aromatics alone are beguiling. Then again, that's one of the things that makes Barolo such a totally seductive wine. Sweet black cherry, lavender, spice and leather give this unusually translucent Barolo striking layers of dimension. Potent Serralunga tannins are present, but they are beautifully woven into the wine's fabric."