- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
Vegan, Vegetarian, Certified Organic
Aldo Vaira’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 60 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such outstanding sites as Bricco delle Viole, Ravera, Fossati, La Volta, Coste di Vergne and Coste di Rose. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, such as long ageing in barrel for his Barolo, but combines this with new techniques, such as a judicious use of oak, to produce superbly elegant wines.
This elegance, aligned with a vibrancy and depth derived from exemplary viticulture, gives wines of wonderful varietal character. His Barbera, scented, balanced and lively, is a classic, while his Dolcetto shows all the desirable characteristics – with none of the negatives – of this difficult variety. His Langhe Nebbiolo is a classically defined example of this variety that is unusually drinkable at such an early stage. The Barolo ‘Albe’ offers superb value and is ideal for early drinking, while Aldo’s masterpiece, the single vineyard ‘Bricco delle Viole’, is intense and elegant – a Chambolle to Massolino’s Gevrey-style wines. The rising star is the Barolo from Ravera. It is darker and more brooding than the Bricco delle Viole but displays the hallmark elegance of a Vajra wine. The single-vineyard Barolo ‘Coste di Rose’ is planted on soils with a higher proportion of sandstone, this east-facing site just outside Barolo expresses greatly defined aromatics, lifted by a fresh but balanced structure and fine tannins.
Aldo was a pioneer introducing organic techniques in Barolo since the 70s, his wines are now certified organic from 2019 vintage.
The grapes for this wine are grown in the township of Barolo in three different vineyards: Fossati (soil of Sant'Agata fossil marls) which faces south-east and was planted between1969-2004, Coste di Vergne (soil of limestone marls), which faces south-west, planted in 1995, and the 180º east-west vineyard of La Volta (soil of Sant'Agata fossil marls), planted between 1998-2000.The vineyards are located at 380-480 metres above sea level. Vines are trained with Guyot system and a green harvest usually takes place according to vigour and the climate during the growing season. Sustainable viticulture is used in all the vineyards and there is no irrigation.
2018 was marked by copious flowering, gradual ripening and one of the latest harvests of the past decade. The rainfall was abundant, especially in May, providing strong water reserves for the growing period. Harvesting of Nebbiolo took place at the end of October. The late harvest meant that the grapes were able to ripen at their own, gradual pace, developing complex varietal characteristics and red-fruit aromas. It is a favourable year for the best exposed sites and for high elevation and well-ventilated vineyards. The wines are fragrant with fine tannins and a balance reminiscent of 2004.
Grapes were picked between 13th and 24th October. Vinification was carried out in custom-designed vertical tini, with gentle punch down and rinsing of the cap. Fermentation lasted around 28 and 49 days, with partial submerged cap maceration. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks in spring. This Barolo aged for 30 months in large Slavonian oak casks and was bottled in the summer prior to release.
On the nose, there are aromas of redcurrant, cherries, cooked strawberries alongside herbal notes of mint, rosehip, rhubarb, lavender and liquorice. On the palate, it is generous, layered and youthful with ripe tannins and a smooth finish.