The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is ripe, creamy and enveloping, as it so often is, and yet also preserves the super classic sense of structure that runs through all these wines. In 2016, Costa Russi has an extra touch of mid-palate sweetness that gives the wine its sense of immediacy. Succulent red cherry, rosewater, kirsch, mint and dried flowers meld together in the glass. Soft and sensual, with tons of allure, Costa Russi is another winner from Gaja. Time in the glass brings out the wine's density and tannins, both of which it has in spades. 2026-2041
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a very botanical wine in terms of its aromas, with lovely perfumes of rose, elderflower, sambuco and anise seed, along with a touch of glycerine. It then follows up with some sweetness that feels very embracing in this wine. This is the more ephemeral, delicate and floral member of the extended Barbaresco family from Gaja, with a crunchy tannic bite, but nothing too severe. There is a really good vitality and energy to this very expressive wine. Costa Russi remains the smallest of Gaja's single-vineyard wines, and Gaia Gaja warns that there will be considerably less of it starting with the 2017 vintage. Production for this wine had always varied greatly to begin with, due in part to the fragile nature of the 80-year-old vines, but about half of those were removed and replanted. It will be a while before the new vines are old enough to go online. So, with some 10,000 bottles made in 2016 and 6,000 bottles in 2015, we can count on those numbers to be split by half over the next three to four years, for sure.