97 out of 100
by James Suckling
The Gaja 2017 Barbaresco is nuanced and delicate with ever-expanding aromatic intensity that amply fills the balloon of your glass. The wine takes a little while to open fully, and it slowly releases forest berry, powdered licorice, toasted aniseed, spearmint, dried lavender and rosemary essence to build a lasting bouquet. The mouthfeel is streamlined and almost steely, with an extremely linear approach that adds to its length and persistency. The tannins are tucked into the wine's delicate fiber, but you do feel the extra textural firmness of the hot vintage nonetheless. As we have seen in past vintages, more definition is added by a pretty mineral note that is a common thread in these wines from Gaja. Production is 38,000 bottles. Drink 2023-2045 95 points Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate
The 2017 Barbaresco is a very pretty, gracious wine. Crushed red berries, dried flowers, mint and sweet spice all grace this decidedly airy, ethereal Barbaresco from the Gaja family. In 2017, the Barbaresco is a bit on the lighter side of things. In exchange, though, it will drink well right out of the gate. Drink 2022-2037 92 points Antonio Galloni, Vinous
July 2020 sees the new release of the famed Gaja Barbaresco 2017 vintage produced from 14 vineyards situated in the municipality of Barbaresco. The land, at a height between 250 and 330m above the sea level, covers a surface of 21.4 hectares and vines are between 40 and 45 years old on average.
The 2017 Barbaresco is a vintage of low quantity but undoubtedly high quality. After the warm dry vintage, the final expression is one of concentration of fruit as well as acidity and tannins from grapes with a low juice to skin ratio. The nose is perfumed and inviting from the first pull of the cork, showing a complex bouquet of cherry blossom, rose petals, red liquorice, sour red and black cherries, sun raisined strawberries and a classical, cranberry and aniseed root spice. Powerful in the mouth yet notably fine grained in texture and classically mineral with sweet velvety tannins balancing the fruit concentration of red cherries, sour plums and hints of ripe blood orange. Despite the heat of the vintage, the wine retains impressive linearity and classical restraint more reminiscent of a vintage like 2015 while the fruit of the 2017s are purer, more elegant and harmonious and a little less plump, fleshy and rounded in comparison. A beautifully expressive wine showing fabulous freshness, precise and considerate extraction and a grand Nebbiolo intensity and persistence. Drink from release until the aromatics and palate start to tighten up and then over the next 15+ years. 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW