1997 Gaja - Darmagi 750ml

Italy - Piedmont - Langhe/ Red / Cabernet Sauvignon   |     Watch

IWC 89-91   WA 90   JR 18   Collector 93
1997 Gaja - Darmagi Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 89-91

Full deep ruby. Black raspberry, violet, mint, shoe polish and mineral aromas complicated by hints of game, smoke and herbs. Fat and rich, but can't match the '97 Barolos for sheer grip. And comes across as a bit less sweet-a bit greener-than the '98 and '99 versions of Darmagi. Seems slightly pinched on the back; perhaps it in an awkward stage today.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 93

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Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

There are 1,000 cases of the exceptional, black/purple-colored 1997 Darmagi Cabernet Sauvignon (3-4% Cabernet Franc was added to the blend). With abundant quantities of smoky, concentrated fruit as well as tannin, the vintage's low acid, thick, glycerin-imbued character, and a layered, full-bodied finish, it should develop nicely for two decades. A genius for sure, Angelo Gaja can not be faulted for what he puts in the bottle. This work of art is worth every cent it will fetch.

Drink Dates: 2001-2021
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 135

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Jancis Robinson | Rating: 18

The first vintage of this famously heretical wine named after Giovanni Gaj's reaction to the news that the foreign Cabernet Sauvignon was to be planted on 2.5 ha surrounded by Nebbiolo in Barbaresco, darmagi being local dialect for 'what a shame’. 'My father never really became a fan of Cabernet Sauvignon,’ Angelo told us. 'He just wasn’t interested. He liked very old Barbaresco.’ Gaia says that the wine still has some Nebbiolo characteristics because of where it grows. Just 600-800 cases made each year.Beautiful mature ruby shading right to the rim and a wonderfully sumptuous plummy, cedary bouquet of which many a Médocain would be jealous. Very gentle and sweet but with marvellous freshness too. Hints of liquorice. Lovely.

Drink Dates: 2002-2012
Author: Jancis Robinson


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Collector Reviews For This Wine


Rating: 93
Author: Conrad K
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 08/08/2010
Drink Dates: 2009-2020
Coffee and expresso. Yum. Needs two hours of air. Long finish.

Average rating: 90, based on 4 reviews
More Vintages and Sizes of Gaja - Darmagi:

Collector Data For This Wine

169 bottles owned by 60 collectors.

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About This Producer


Plain and simple, Angelo Gaja is the biggest name in Italian wine. The Gaja winery was founded by Giovanni Gaja in 1859 and has been owned and operated by four generations of the Gaja family, with Angelo Gaja running the operation since the 1960s. Angelo is credited with modernizing Barbaresco and Barolo wines, having pioneered the use of controlled-temperature fermentation (for reducing oxidation) and small-cask aging (to stabilize color and preserve fruitiness). Gaja is most well-known for his Barbarescos, though the three most sought-after wines, Costa Russi, Sori Tildin and Sori San Lorenzo have recently been reclassified from Barbaresco DOCG to Langhe DOC, giving Gaja more flexibility in the winemaking process. Strikingly profound and built to live for decades, Gaja's wines display opulence and elegance unmatched elsewhere in Italy. These wines, while harnessing modern technology, have a long-established track record, ensuring they will perform well both in the glass and on the auction block. For any collector considering Italian wines, Gaja should be the first name on the list.

Click here to listen to GrapeRadio's podcast about Gaja Winery ( Show #156, 48:29 min 22 MB)
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See other similar producers: Azienda Agricola Pelissero, Borgogno

Wine Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon


Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps the world's best known red variety, with its full-bodied, intense profile. An offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, it is the primary grape of Bordeaux's Left Bank (Medoc and Graves regions) and the Napa Valley, but can be found growing all over the world. Typical descriptors for Cabernet Sauvignon are cassis, cedar, mint, black pepper, eucalyptus, and pencil lead.

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