Aldo Vajra's wines are characterised by pristine flavours and clearly defined perfumes...
These characters are attributable to the position of his vineyards at about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne in the commune of Barolo. G.D. Vajra was established in 1972 and named after Aldo's father, Giuseppe Domenico. Aldo has been gradually increasing the area under vine to 40 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such strategic spots as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, though blends these with new techniques, such as temperature controlled fermentation, to produce such superbly elegant wines.
The grapes for this wine are grown in three different vineyards: Fossati, which faces south-east and was planted between 1969 - 2004; Coste di Vergne, which faces south-west, planted in 1995; and the 180º east-west vineyard of La Volta, planted between 1998 - 2000. The vineyards are located at 400-440 metres above sea level and are all in the Commune of Barolo. Sustainable viticulture is used on all the vineyards and there is no irrigation. Training is by mixed guyot and a green harvest usually takes place according to vigour and the climate during the growing season.
The long, snowy winter resulted in a delay in budding, while the cool spring ensured a late growing season. Rainfall during spring and summer was more frequent than average, especially in March, May and June. The resulting generous water reserves led to continuous plant growth, giving luxuriant canopies and grass. "The 2010 wines are a jump into both the past and future of Piemonte," says Giuseppe Vaira. "They offer a return to balanced fruit, a savoury mid-palate and a racy, long finish. Nebbiolo is tight yet disclosing a wide aromatic spectrum already."
The grapes were hand-picked and hand-sorted in the second and third week of October. Fermentation (with indigenous yeasts) and maceration lasted 20 days, at temperatures not exceeding 32ºC with traditional punch downs. Malolactic fermentation followed for the first year in 25-50 hectolitre Slavonian oak casks. The wine remained in oak for a total of 42 months before bottling.
Brilliant and finely sculpted on the palate, the 2010 dazzles from the very first taste. Expressive, floral notes give way to bright red fruit, mint and crushed berries in a vibrant, striking Barolo. In most vintages, Le Albe is juicy and fruit-driven, but in 2010 it is above all the wine's minerality that shines through.
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