From En Primeur to Prowein & Vinitaly, an European Update


gaia1.jpgUnfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit Vinitaly this year as planned. However, I was more than ably represented by Sommelier India correspondent, Harshal Shah, whose report from Verona appears below. Reva K Singh
Well, it certainly has been a busy 10 days in Europe, particuarly if you are in the wine world. In addition to the En Primeur tastings which kicked off two weeks ago or so, Prowein, Germany’s largest wine trade fair was held in Duesseldorf from the 29th to the 31st of March. Pictured are Angelo Gaja and his daughter Gaia who were celebrating 150 years of Gaja wines at Vinitaly

Indications so far are that exhibitor numbers as well as international trade visitors are up, up, up. In addition, some amazing tastings have taken place culminating in a wonderful journey into the world of sweet Rieslings, conducted by Jancis Robinson MW. A flight of 13 wines were tasted starting with some greats from the 80s and ending with some illustrious, racy Trockenbeerenauslese’s from the early 50s. A true delight and wonderful educational experience. Another highlight was a vertical of Barolo’s from Fontanafredda’s ‘Rosa’ vineyard in Serralunga in Piedmont. A true “roses and tar” experience of this long-lived style.
From Germany to Italy – to Verona – where Vinitaly, now in it’s 43rd year, has pulled in some fantastic exhibitors and concurrently, is staging some incredible tastings. Without a doubt, the highlight of this year is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Gaja wines from Piedmont. Angelo Gaja and his entire family, led us through a delightful journey in history with a tasting of some of his best wines from top vintages. Jancis Robinson was again moderating this event, but the un-stoppable Angelo Gaja and his daughter Gaia have such infectious enthusiasm and true passion for, not only their own wines, but the wines of the artisan winemakers of Italy, that Jancis could only lead and interrupt sporadically with leading questions.
There was no need to prompt Angelo, however, as he spoke intensely and passionately about his wines and the 150 years of history of Gaja wines. Angelo paid tribute to some great names in the industry as a thanks for being staunch ambassadors for Italian wine and urged the incoming generation to continue the good work and tradition of this great wine-producing land.
1964 Gaja Barbaresco was still somewhat youthful with a firm structure and intense aromas of bergamot and leaf tea. The ever present tannins of Barbaresco and the acidity showed that this 45-year old wine has spirit in it yet!

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