More lively than the San Lorenzo. Bright fruit, with a somewhat grapey core; very pretty floral nose; plenty of acidity to give lift to the palate, which was complex and rather elegant. A more traditionally styled nebbiolo than the San Lorenzo tasted at the same dinner. A little lacking on the back palate, but very enjoyable.
Suzi, Eric and Sid's Trip to Italy; 8/21/2003-9/4/2003 (Tuscany & Bellagio, Italy): (Dinner at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in the main dining room) This bottle was part of a collection of older Gaja wines purchased by the hotel some 3 years earlier when another hotel went out of business. Alas, while this was a great bottle I fear that it was somewhat oxidized and could have been far greater. After a bit of a struggle the waiter was able to get the cork out intact, and while the capsule was clean and spinning the cork showed evidence of a fair bit of seepage that didn't quite breach. It was wine colored nearly all the way along its length. The nose was explosive showing dried rose, some tar, iron, fennel and a hint of earthy truffel. If I could use one word to describe the nose I would choose "soaring" as this was really very high-toned. The palate was huge, vibrant, again soaring and simply massive. The finish started very tight and acidic and with time started to open up and show incredible length, truly singing and soaring again. For a while this did gain a somewhat off-putting metallic note of tin on the finish, but with time this blew off. All in all, I was amazingly impressed by just how huge and soaring this wine was, as I have never encountered anything quite like this. That said, it did seem to clearly show some elements of oxidation at least to my palate. Still, this was a terrific experience and one I am very glad to have enjoyed.
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