A genius for sure - 1982 Gaja Barbaresco

Posted by Ian McFadden

"A genius for sure"
1982 Gaja Barbaresco

The trilogy of '78, '82 and '85 represents the golden age of Gaja.

For me, the '82s represents Gaja at his absolute best.

Few wines achieve such unrivaled intensity, such dazzling richness yet simultaneous refinement as Gaja's' do.

Angelo Gaja is a man of deep convictions and profound ambitions. And the wines reflect this. They are regally opulent and yet, deliver aristocratic elegance. There's really no expression that compares.

Back in the mid-seventies, Gaja set off on a relentlessly experimental approach to making Barbaresco: macerations were shortened, barriques were implemented, etc. His intentions were to maintain the delicacy and Nebbiolo character of Barbaresco, but introduce suave textures. Above all, he wanted his Barbarescos to have a place on the world stage.

And by all accounts, Gaja has been wildly successful. Robert Parker sums up Gaja's success by calling him "a genius for sure." While people may be skeptical of Gaja's process, the results are impossible to argue with.

In the '82 Barbaresco, you get a sense of Gaja's determination to pursue his extraordinary vision for Barbaresco. He was clearly out to prove a point and the beautiful '82s accomplish this with flying colors.

Of course, the quality of the 1982 vintage helped. The 1982 vintage in Piedmont produced really impressive wines. It's a fairly fruit driven vintage, but above all a vintage that possesses an elegance and lovely harmony. Even in the context of the strong vintage, Gaja's wines outpaced it by a good margin.

Finding old Gaja in any quantity has become very difficult. This may very well be your last crack at these.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits