0 immediate, 9 marketplace
Average critic rating : 90.0 points
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon aromas and flavors take a back seat to a plump, jammy expression of fruit in the 2004 Darmagi. Made in a very Piedmontese style, it seems to have more in common with Barbera than Cabernet, an impression which is reinforced the more it sits in the glass. This perfumed wine is bursting with pure, clean, well-delineated fruit. It is a lovely effort, yet readers expecting a more representative example of Cabernet Sauvignon will probably be happier looking elsewhere, as this is a very unusual Darmagi. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2024. ||Angelo Gaja and long-time oenologist Guido Rivella produced some of the most monumental wines of their long, storied partnership in 2004. Although I admire Gaja’s wines, especially for their consistency, I rarely find them this emotionally moving and utterly profound. The stable weather and cool, tempering evenings towards the end of the growing season allowed Gaja and Rivella to harvest fairly late in 2004. I remember passing by Gaja’s Barbaresco vineyards in October of that year and seeing fruit still waiting to be picked long after most producers had already brought the fruit in. Gaja’s 2004s from Barbaresco are especially breathtaking for their clarity and precision. The wines also seem less internationally-styled than in the past. Readers fortunate enough to possess the means to acquire these wines won’t want to miss them! The 2003s from the Barolo zones of La Morra and Serralunga are also strong efforts considering the vintage. “Historically in Piedmont there has been an inverse relationship between quality and quantity. Great vintages like 1961 and 1989 were characterized by low yields,” says Gaja. “2004 is one of those rare vintages like 1964 and 1990 where quality is high even though yields were generous as well. I think 2004 is a very elegant vintage. It is much easier to achieve opulence in the wines, but finesse is always much more elusive.” Wine Advocate.October, 2007
The wines of Angelo Gaja have been at the forefront of Piedmont for many years. An ancient family domaine established in the 1850s, the business was revolutionised by Angelo when he joined in 1961, bringing methods and a philosophy that were decades ahead of their time.
Taking full control of the family business in 1970, Gaja has been a pioneer ever since, and his Barbarescos are the famous wines of the region. Indeed you could say that Gaja put Barbaresco on the map.
More of a modernist than many of his neighbours, Gaja’s wines are polished, pure and precise. In youth they can often be inpenetrably faultless; with age they are peerless. The single vineyard wines – Costa Russi, Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo cannot be called Barbaresco despite their vineyard sites: a dash of Barbera in these wines, which adds just a touch of plumpness to the Nebbiolo, breaks just one of the numerous rules imposed on the winemakers of Piedmont that Mr Gaja views as an impediment to making his extraordinary wines.
A genius for sure, Angelo Gaja cannot be faulted for what he puts in the bottle. Robert Parker
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