The 2015 Barolos from G.D. Vajra (VAH-ee-rah) offer an elegant yet powerful style from an iconic producer, and are a must-have for your collection. The estate is often recognized for their winemaking skills, starting with the classic Barolo they call "Albe," sourced from three of their vineyard sites. Wine Spectator was particularly enamored, putting it on their Top 100 Wines of 2019 list (at #48). Their single-vineyard "Bricco delle Viole" Barolo was one of the top wines of Piedmont according to the prestigious Italian wine guide, Gambero Rosso, which gave the 2015 release a top-level "3 Glass" award!
This is a family-run labor of love; founded by Aldo Vajra, his first release happened to be from the troublesome 1972 vintage. Instead of giving up and abandoning the grapes on the vines, he made a wine anyway and never looked back. Remaining obstinate in his vision of what great Barolo should be, he refused to succumb to the increasing popularity of aging in French oak, especially with new barrels, which he felt would detract from the elegant and pure expression of the Nebbiolo grape. He was well-aware of the modern improvements in the wine cellars, though, and through the years earned the reputation of being "the most modern of the traditionalists and the most traditional of the modernists." He now runs the winery with his wife and three children, who are taking the family estates into the future. It's a testament to the character of this family that the small but well-respected winemakers, Luigi and Fiorina Baudana, felt comfortable letting the Vajras take over their estate in 2009, and with it their legacy (no small thing in a region that takes such things seriously).
The Vajras farm organically, make use of long fermentations during which the skins and juice gently mingle, and age the wines in large Slavonian oak barrels that impart only subtle wood notes.
The Bricco delle Viole ("The Hill of Violets") vineyard is the highest altitude of the historical Barolo sites and the wines typically carry a particularly bright floral perfume and fine tannin that gives them a more accessible quality in youth.
GAMBERO ROSSO 2020 GUIDE - 3 BICCHIERI
WINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "You'll find enticing scents of rose, violet, woodland berry, tobacco and a heady whiff of pine on this fragrant, full-bodied red. The juicy, delicious palate shows focus and intensity, doling out succulent raspberry, ripe red cherry, blood orange, licorice and baking spice framed in polished tannins. It's already showing beautifully but will also offer years of enjoyment. Drink 2020-2027."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Enticing aromas and flavors of plum, cherry, iron and menthol are folded harmoniously into the lush texture and broad tannins of this long and vibrant red, with licorice, mineral and tobacco elements lingering. Best from 2022 through 2040."
WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2015 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole is a delicate and pure expression of Nebbiolo. The wine shows its naked beauty with pride, provocatively semi-dressed in lacy, floral aromas of wild rose and pressed violets. At this young age, the wine exhibits a gentle mix of fruity and floral characteristics that merge into the bouquet with intrepidness. The fruit from this vineyard within the Barolo township has maintained its freshness and crispness despite the heat of the 2015 growing season. I think it would be a lovely match for a veal piccata and cream sauce, with parsley and capers."
The estate of GD Vajra is situated in Vergne, the highest village in the Commune of Barolo. Its vineyards are planted with Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera at heights of 350-400 meters, which result in distinctive and aromatic wines. The Vajra family is a group of dedicated, passionate winegrowers, who are also grounded and sensitive to the human role in winemaking. Their philosophy remains faithful to the traditional and authentic wines of Piemonte, and in essence they regard themselves as the instruments that enable nature and the environment full self-expression through their wines.