2019 Vajra Barolo “Albe”
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GD Vajra is one of my favorite wineries in the Barolo region in Northern Italy. Family owned and operated, The winery is led by Aldo Vajra who took the reins at the tender age of 15 in 1968. From the beginning Aldo has insisted on innovation in a measured way that never jettisoned tradition. The winery was certified organic in 1971 (the very first to do so in Barolo!) and has lavished attention on grapes (Freisa) and styles (lightly sparkling Nebbiolo) that were once mainstays in Barolo but have largely disappeared. Long story short, i think this iconic winery is worth your attention for reasons beyond the fact that they make delicious vino.
The Barolo Albe is the entry into their top wines and has always stood out as my favorite entry level Barolo. This wine always captures the fragrance and elegance you expect from Barolo without the fierce tannins or foreboding structure Barolo is known for. 100% Nebbiolo that is harvested from a few different high elevation sites around the zone. It is fermented in steel with native yeasts for 30-45 days with a mixture of submerged cap, pump overs, and punch downs. Then it is sent for elevage in Slavonian oak botti ranging in size from 40 - 75 hectoliters (barrels that hold 4000 - 7500 liters of wine). Elevage typical last between 24 and 30 months depending on the vintage and the wine is held for an additional 12-18 in bottle before release. A classic in every way! - Andy Paynter