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G.D. Vajra Barolo `Le Albe`

Barolo, Piemonte

G.D. Vajra

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.

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Vineyards

The grapes for this wine are grown in three different vineyards: Fossati which faces south-east and is 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.

Vintage information

Two metre of snow in winter topped up the water level and ensured that the vines weren’t stressed by the dry, hot summer that followed. Spring was relatively wet, causing some soil erosion in the Barolo zone. May and June were hot and dry. These conditions, along with the water reserves built up in winter, ensured a quick and perfect fruit set, which accounts for good yields. The canopies were completed by the end of July, and ripening proceeded apace. In August sugar levels were about two weeks ahead of average, but phenolic ripeness was slower and more regular, and was helped by warm days and cool nights in September and October. Light rain at the beginning of September gave the vines the drink they needed, and brought the crop to maturity.

Vinification

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 Slovenian oak casks. The wine remained in oak for a total of 42 months before bottling.

Tasting Notes

Bright ruby-garnet in colour with a wonderfully perfumed nose, with aromas of orange peel, flowers, red fruits, dried plums, pine-needles and brushwood. On the palate it has lovely Nebbiolo structure, with plenty of fine, ripe tannins, elegant acidity and dark plum and savoury characters, with a herbal perfume on the long finish. Softer and more approachable in youth than the Bricco delle Viole, it has the purity and balance characteristic of Vajra wines.

Vintage information

Vintage 2009
Grape varieties 100% Nebbiolo
Region Barolo, Piemonte
Winemaker Aldo Vajra
Alcohol (ABV) 14.5%
Acidity 5.45g/l
Residual Sugar 1g/l
Wine pH 3.52