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.
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Macerated cherry, floral, licorice, mineral and Asian spice flavors highlight this firmly structured red. Taut and balanced, with plenty in reserve, building to a long, detailed finish. Best from 2022 through 2045."
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The Luigi Baudana 2015 Barolo Baudana, with fruit from Serralunga d'Alba, is a wine with a very promising aging future ahead. Starting with the firmness of its core and its tightly knit fabric, this wine offers all the main criteria for graceful cellaring. You get bright primary fruit, along with crisp acidity and rock-solid structure. You won't miss those characteristic Serralunga d'Alba tannins. Give the wine time to soften, relax and flesh out further. Still nervous in its youth, this pretty wine will award those who wait."
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 94+ POINTS - "The 2015 Barolo Baudana is powerful, ample and deep, with tons of brightness to play off the sweet red cherry and pomegranate fruit. Already quite expressive, the 2015 appears to have a very bright future. Even today, its balance is simply impeccable. Within the context of the year, the 2015 Baudana is one of the most polished refined wines readers will taste."
WINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS