G.D. Vajra is one of Piedmont’s best kept secrets and today we are lucky to have Francesca Vaira in the Shop to share a couple of their wonderful wines. She is the daughter of Aldo Vaira, the winemaker, who makes wines that display great finesses and elegance and are not striving to be blockbusters. Instead, these are wines that show their individuality, are more traditional, and are true expressions of the terroir of the vineyards from which they came.
Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate:
“For some reason the wines of Aldo Vajra remain less well known than they deserve to be, but this set of new releases may go a long way towards rectifying that situation. It is fairly easy for a producer to make one great wine, and it is also not uncommon to find a large quality gap between an estate’s top wine(s) and the more modest wines. Not here. Every wine I tasted was impeccably made and shows this producer’s elegant, graceful style at its finest.”
These wines offer great values that are spectacular with food! These are wines to drink, not to keep … stop by this afternoon and try them.
- Moscato d’Asti 2016: Moscato is part of the culinary tradition of Piedmont, but it is often thought to be cloyingly sweet. It is not. It has great potential to pair with a wide-variety of food beyond that of the Piedmont, think cheese or spice. This 100% Moscato comes old vines in three beautiful vineyards and it’s freshness is perfect for the holiday season! Aromas of yellow-fleshed fruit: apricot, peach, and tropical fruit; blending with elderflower, pear, and herbal notes of sage. Delicate but persistent bubbles that help to refresh and cleanse the palate. A long, clean finish that has a surprisingly savory side.
- J.C. Claret Langhe Nebbiolo 2016: “There is a red wine of Nebiule (Nebbiolo) made in this neighborhood which is very singular. It is about as sweet as the silky Madeira, as astringent on the palate as Bordeaux, and as brisk as Champagne. It is a pleasing wine.” (Thomas Jefferson, 1787) This quote was brought to the attention of Giuseppi, Aldo’s son, and it set him off on a quest to make a wine like like that of 250 years ago. So, in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson (hence the J.), this 100% Nebbiolo, made in the Metodo Ancestrale, wine is a fun, unique product in it’s third vintage. Slightly off-dry, high in acid, fully red and slightly tannic, this wine is fresh and lively in the mouth but finishes with finesse and length. Meant to take a chill, it is best paired with Italian salumi or any dish that needs a good acidic wine with grip to clear the palate. This is a perfect Thanksgiving wine!
- Dolcetto d’Alba 2016: Dolcetto, “the little sweet one”, is a delicate variety that requires correct exposure, care, and attention to reach its full potential. Vajra has planted it’s Dolcetto only on the most appropriate plots and takes care to get great freshness and exciting fruitiness for the grapes. This 100% Dolcetto comes from four different plots in Barolo and Novello. Great notes of red fruits, sour cherry, violet, and hay come out of the glass to remind you of summer and they are followed by a soft and open palate, delicate tannins and fresh, low acidity. Dolcetto d’Alba is a great food wine and is something that we reach for almost automatically with pizza, especially pepperoni. It can also pair well with dishes like Acciughe al verde, Pesto alla Genovese, or a Mushroom & Sausage Ragù.
- Rosso Langhe 2014: Isidoro Vaira describes this wine like a soccer team, “Nebbiolo is the team captain, it emerges for its structure
and elegance. Barbera has got personality and enthusiasm, while Dolcetto supports the team with its fruit and freshness. Freisa….is like Gattuso…decisive, but never let’s down the guard. Albarossa is the goalkeeper: even though we do not notice him, without him you cannot play. And then Pinot, the playmaker: capable and quick, a real expert in dribbling, who, with his style, brings adrenaline to the match. All together they are a dream team.” This six grape blend (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Freisa, Albarossa, and Pinot Noir) is just that, a group effort to showcase the personality of the Piedmont. It is an ideal table wine with notes of dark fruit and a refined elegance that is concentrated and harmonious: flowers and fruit give way to tobacco and spice.
“I try to make wines that give people joy. In the past wine was a food, it was necessary for sustenance. Today that is not the case; we choose to drink for pleasure. I want to make wines that bring people happiness.”