I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can’t claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine’s future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine’s carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.During my visit to the Gaja estate this May, I preview tasted samples of the single-vineyard 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi, the 2016 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo, the 2016 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn, the 2015 Barolo Conteisa, the 2015 Barolo Sperss and the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Darmagi. I tasted these wines before they went into bottle, and they were not ready for review. I am returning to Barbaresco later this summer and will deliver my full notes from the Gaja family in a second report to follow. For now, I am only publishing a review of the 2016 Barbaresco and the white wines.