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Average critic rating : 96.0 points
It is hard to argue with those who claim that the finest of these single-vineyard offerings is always the Sori Tilden. The 1996 Sori Tilden reveals a pigmented/saturated ruby/purple color in addition to a tight nose, with aromas of blackberries, cherry liqueur, smoke, licorice, incense, and spice box. Enormous on the palate, with multiple layers of fruit, soft tannin, huge body, and a knock-out finish, it is backward and brawny. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2030. ||As I reported in issue #124 (8-27-99), 1996 is a spectacular vintage for Angelo Gaja. There is a lot of speculation as to why he has dropped the name Barbaresco from the labels of his single-vineyard wines, but given his personality and overall commitment to quality, it can only be to improve the quality and give him some flexibility in difficult vintages to produce a wine that may or may not be 100% Nebbiolo. At least that's how I view it. Wine Advocate.August, 2000
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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