Red garnet colour, earthy and savoury with pure notes of coal, tobacco, juniper, and sap. On the palate the wine is tense, loaded with energy that will need serious ageing to fully develop. Impressive fruit concentration, with sweet red berries, raspberries, wild strawberry, red currant, plum, blood orange, bark, liquorice.
Sperss is a term affectionately used to denote nostalgia for precious things lost with time, a homage to the origins of the winery and the generations who built it. When the Gaja family decided to stop acquiring fruit from outside growers and bottle only estate-grown grapes ... in 1961, it was a bold and difficult move. It would help to ensure a high standard of quality, but it also meant that for the first time in the winery’s history, they would not be able to produce a Barolo. In 1988, nearly three decades after that fateful decision was made, the Gajawinery purchased a 30-acre farm in Serralunga d’Alba and rechristened it Sperss.
95 Points - James Suckling More forward and in a more earthly realm than the dizzying heights of the Conteisa this vintage, but it’s so endearing and immediately delights. The aromas range from elderberries and black cherries to brambleberries and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and structured with powerful tannins that encase bright and forthright blue fruit, which is polished over by a sheen of glimmering acidity. Long finish. Delicious now!
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast Underbrush, tobacco, toasted hazelnut, menthol and grilled herb aromas slowly take shape on this focused red. On the structured elegant palate, taut refined tannins and fresh acidity provide an ageworthy framework for raspberry compote, juicy Marasca cherry, orange zest, white pepper and star anise. It already has layers of depth and loads of finesse, but hold for even more complexity.
94 Points - Decanter Sperss comes from two crus in Serralunga, and like Gaja's Barbarescos it's aged in a combination of barriques and large barrels. As so often is the case, it's a wine that combines power and finesse. It has a subdued cherry nose with a touch of oak, leading to a palate which is rich, powerful and tannic, but not too assertive. It's well balanced and fleshy, with lots of velvety texture and grain, and there's still an underlying freshness and finesse. Very long finish.
94 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d'Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. Serralunga d'Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular.
93 Points - Vinous The 2014 Barolo Sperss is an attractive wine from Gaja's vineyards in Serralunga. There is good depth to the succulent black cherry, plum, smoke and licorice flavors, although it doesn't quite have the explosiveness or power of the very best years. Because of the wine's slender personality, the oak is a bit more evident than is typically the case. The Sperss also feels a bit forced in terms of extraction and oak, especially next to the Conteisa, where the choices have turned out to be more successful in bringing out the best the vintage has to offer.
92 Points - Wine Spectator Cherry, hay, leather, iron and spice aromas and flavors are the hallmarks of this linear red. Chewy and compact, with fine complexity and a lingering finish.