Powerful, dense and explosive, the 2005 Costa Russi still needs time before it enters the sweet spot. In 2005, Costa Russi is perhaps a bit more savory, ferrous and gamy than it often is, but there is also terrific purity throughout. With time in the glass, the 2005 just gets better and better. As always, the Costa Russi is the most spherical and immediate of Gaja’s single-vineyard wines.
Anticipated maturity: 2018-2030
Robert Parker 96
The 2005 Costa Russi shimmers on the palate with extraordinary grace. The wine boasts wonderful depth and richness in its dark red fruit in a round, generous style that offers lovely balance to the tannins. Notes of tar, smoke and licorice develop in the glass, adding a touch of complexity and nuance that is sometimes missing in this bottling. The French oak is present, but deftly balanced with the wine’s other components. As always, Costa Russi comes across as relatively accessible when young, but it is sure to only improve with age. Recent bottles of the 1985 have been nothing short of glorious. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030. I was blown away by Angelo Gaja’s 2005 wines from Barbaresco. When all is said and done, Gaja may have well produced not the wine, but rather the wines of the vintage in a year that was excellent but not profound. While Gaja’s 2005 don’t have the explosive, multi-dimensional personalities of his 2004s, they are vibrant offerings that will thrill readers who love Piedmont wines. As always, Gaja blends in a small percentage of Barbera in his single-vineyard wines, but that is hardly noticeable in this vintage. I also noted less new oak than has generally been the case in the recent past. The wines showcase very pure expressions of Nebbiolo and are made in a style that appears to make fewer concessions to the decidedly international approach of previous vintages. In short, these are the most Piedmontese wines I have tasted from Angelo Gaja in a long time. Could it be that the greatest innovator in Piedmont over the last thirty five-plus years has taken a small step towards a more classic style? Importer: Terlato Wines International, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030