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Gaja ‘cold and soulless’: Gambero Rosso

One of Italy’s most esteemed producers has been described as ‘cold and soulless’ by the editor of the Guide which has honored him more than any other Italian producer.

Angelo Gaja, often described as ‘the Prince of Barbaresco’, and 1998 Decanter Man of the Year, has received two more of the much coveted Three Glasses Awards in the 2004 edition of Gambero Rosso’s Guide to Italian Wines, the English version of which will be launched in New York on 16 March.

This brings his total Three Glasses to 33, far more than any other producer mentioned in the Guide which has consistently praised him since its first edition in 1987.

But a month after Gaja received his Tre Bicchieri last November at the official awards ceremony in Rome, co-chief editor of the Guide, Daniele Cernilli, has personally and professionally criticised him.

In his editorial in December’s Gambero Rosso magazine, Cernilli referred to Gaja’s behavior as that ‘of a star, a primadonna’ while attacking the producer’s exorbitant pricing and describes the wines as ‘having more to do with Gaja’s name than with their region.’

He adds, ‘And his wines? They are like him. Technically perfect, but cold without soul.’

Journalist Franco Ziliani, who has often criticised Angelo Gaja and his style of winemaking calls the attack a ‘methodical execution’ and questions how Cernilli can continue as the Guides’ editor after the disclosures in his recent editorial.

‘If Cernilli wants to be taken seriously, he should either step down from his role with the Guide or, in the next edition, he should make sure that Gaja’s wines are not given the Three Glasses as has been the case since 1987’.

Written by Kerin O’Keefe

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