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[Jump to wines]

It’s not too much of an exaggeration to call Lino Maga an oracle — for his often-prophetic pronouncements, for the magic of his 4-hectare prize site, Barbacarlo, and for the utterly unique and thoroughly captivating wines that he channels from it each year. Lots of producers talk about respecting the vintage, but few have the self-assured courage of Maga, who lets the wine ferment as it wants to each year. Some vintages ferment dry and some retain a small amount of R.S.; some are still and some are spumeggiante (various degrees of fizzy/sparkling). Good vintages age 20-30 years, but many also drink well young. We chose three of our favorite vintages from the dozen that Commendatore Maga poured for us on our most recent visit.