1996 Angelo Gaja Costa Russi - 94 pts! The 1996 Barbaresco Costa Russi could pass for a terrific grand cru red Burgundy given its undeniable fragrance of raspberries, violets, and toast. Full-bodied, with sensational fruit intensity and purity, this large-scaled, meaty, fleshy wine reveals considerable tannin in its stunning finish. Compellingly rich and more internationally styled, it is an impressive effort. RP 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.