The 1971 Barbaresco comes as a revelation in terms of its precocity after so many years, partly because it came from a double magnum. Quite deep in colour, it offered seductive aromas of black plums, mulberry, boot polish and just a slither of marmalade. Silky smooth and plush on the palate, there is a melted mouthfeel to this Barbaresco that makes it completely irresistible. On the basis of this, large formats would seem to possess great longevity. Tasted at La Festa del Barolo in New York.
Anticipated maturity: 2021-2035
Mid ruby with brickstone rim. Initially a little firmer on the nose than the 1958, but more balsamic too. Succulent and still a little vibrant on the palate with minerally, iron notes. Great length but after a while begins to fade a little in the glass. (WS)
Anticipated maturity: 1981-2004
Robert Parker 91
Sourced from Gaja’s reserves, this is remarkably youthful in appearance, much deeper and more lucid in colour without the distinct tawny rim demonstrated by the ’61 Barbaresco. Again, the nose is a slight let down, as if to say: a oetwenty years too late.a but it does gradually open up to reveal some black brambly fruit, black tea and a touch of bay leaf. The palate demonstrates great concentration and structure with smooth, silky tannins, touches of spice and a touch of pepper, very cohesive and vigorous towards the leather and truffle infused finish. Great length. Drink now, although caveat emptor: beware of provenance. Tasted December 2009.