The 2004 Barbaresco Gallina opens with the hallmark Spinetta super-ripe aromatics. Unlike past recent vintages, it has plenty of stuffing to fill out its frame, with generous sweet fruit, spices, coffee beans and truffles that flow from the glass. It offers outstanding persistence and a long, caressing finish, even if it isn't as vibrant as the estate's other 2004 Barbarescos. It should be the first wine of these 2004 Barbarescos to reach maturity. This is a terrific effort from Rivetti. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2016. This is very strong set of releases from La Spinetta and propietor Giorgio Rivetti. The 2004 Barbarescos are easilty the best of his career. The wines still see 100% new French oak, but toast levels have been reduced and the Barbarescos now spend 12 months in oak rather than the 18 months they saw in previous vintages. Both changes have had a remarkably positive effect in allowing more site-specific character and Nebbiolo fruit to come through. The 2003 Barolo Campe shows that Rivetti is makning important strides with this wine as well. Only the 2005 Barberas are dissappointing, but that is not entirely surprising given the uneven growing season. In the past La Spinetta was an estate that relied just as much on style as substance. The 2004 Barbarescos, and specilly the Standeri, are the first wines that truly live up to the glamorous image that Giorgio Rivetti has masterfully succeeded in creating.
" - Wine Advocate