DWWA 2013 International Trophies: Red Italian Varietal Over £15

This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Red Italian Varietal Over £15 went to Gemma, Giblin, Barolo Riserva 2006, Italy.

DWWA 2013 International Trophies, Gemma Giblin

Gemma, Giblin, Barolo Riserva, Piedmont, Italy 2006 (14%)
Russian spices, leather and dried plums on a powerful, fragrant nose of roses, damsons and chocolate. Flavours of cherry, cinnamon and toffee with chewy tannins. Long and mouthwateringly delicious.

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Tasted against • GD Vajra, Kyè Freisa, Langhe, Piedmont, Italy 2009 • Urla, Nero d’Avola-Urla Karasi, Aegean Coast Region, Turkey 2011 • La Roncaia, Refosco, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy 2010 • Scarzello, Barbera d’Alba Superiore, Piedmont, Italy 2009 • ProVinCo Italia, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy 2008 • Santa Sofia, Antichello, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy 2008

This International Trophy is always keenly fought but rarely sees such a number of contenders – let alone one from Turkey. While Piedmont may have fallen short in the under £15 category, it was not to be denied here.

There are few secrets in wine. The ingredients needed to make something memorable are always the same: an outstanding vintage; a great terroir; a high-quality grape variety, and a talented producer. And so it is with this.
Vintage: 2006 was fantastic in Barolo, a year of high but harmonious acidity, powerful, noble tannins, deep silky fruit and unbelievable ageing potential. A great terroir: Giblin, located in the Ginestra, a grand cru for Barolo in Monforte d’Alba. Nebbiolo: one of the world’s five greatest grapes – and here offering a smorgasbord of red rose, sour red cherry and delicately spicy, tarry aromas and flavours. A talented producer: it can’t be a coincidence that Gemma’s 1997, 1999 and 2005 Giblin Barolo were all awarded five stars, Outstanding ratings or Gold medals by Decanter in past years. This riserva is aged for three years in French oak.

By Piedmontese standards, Gemma is a relatively young enterprise, founded only in 1978 when the owner, Silvano Piacentini, decided to try his hand at making wine in one of Barolo’s most famous towns, Serralunga d’Alba. Obviously he has succeeded, and then some.

Ian D’Agata

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