Gaia Gaja’s cowgirl boots (and my first Alba truffles of the season)

Yesterday found me back in Houston where I had lunch with my friend and client Tony and Gaia Gaja.

To mark the occasion of her Houston, Texas visit, Gaia donned the cowgirl boots she had picked up on her previous visit (above). As the saying goes, you can take a girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. After all, she does come from a town where they didn’t have running water until 1964.

As you can imagine, Tony pulled out all the stops for the luncheon: I’ve posted my complete notes on the meal and the wines over at his site here.

I wasn’t surprised by the Gaja 2007 Barbaresco: however strange (by virtue of the fact that there was no winter to speak of), the 2007 vintage was generous to Barbaresco and everything I’ve tasted so far has been great to phenomenal (remember when Tracie P and I tasted 2007 Asili and Santo Stefano with Bruno Giacosa?).

But it was Gaia’s family’s 2008 Barbaresco that really blew me away. In a challenging vintage, Gaja was blessed with very juicy, well ripened fruit. Green harvesting and southern exposure of their vineyards delivered mature grapes, said Gaja, and allowed them to pick before inclement weather arrived. The floral notes on the wine were fantastic and although still very young in its evolution, it had that zinging acidity and powerful tannin that makes Barbaresco such a unique appellation imho and one of my favorite wines in the world.

My favorite dish of the meal was the branzino and poached potato tartar topped with caviar and paired with the 2009 Gaia & Rey Chardonnay (a guilty pleasure, I must admit).

Click here for all of my notes, including the 2005 Sperss, and images of the dishes…

Thanks again, Tony and Gaia!