Gd Vajra Barolo ‘Albe’ 2014
1 or more bottles$99.00
Monica Larner91 points
Antonio Galloni90 points
Albe is a tribute to the masters of the 1950s and 60s, to those winemakers who had the vision and the taste to blend some of the most amazing crus in order to achieve a Barolo of balance and charm. The high-elevation vineyards for Barolo Albe have an exposure ranging from south-south-east to south-west. The grapes are usually picked in the second half of the Nebbiolo harvest. Vinification is made in custom-designed vertical vats, with gentle punch down and pumpovers. Maceration lasts 25 days on average. Malolactic conversion occurs in stainless steel the following spring. Albe rests on average between 30 and 36 months in large (40, 50 and 75hL) Slavonian oak casks. The wine is usually racked once a year. Blending is decided in the spring prior to bottling.
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- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"A tribute to local tradition, the 2014 Barolo Albe represents an assembly of fruit from various vineyard plots throughout the area. Winemaking is classic in approach with a 25-day maceration period and aging in large Slavonian oak casks. This vintage shows silky, fine lines and a more accessible approach for near and medium- term drinking. I would recommend a few more years of bottle aging, however, to allow the wine the time to grow in texture and mouthfeel."
"Vajra's 2014 Barolo Albe is a pretty wine, but it is also a touch slender. Part of that is, of course, attributable to the vintage, but in recent years the Albe has been stylistically more similar to the other Barolos in the range than it was at the outset. Suggestions of sweet tobacco, cinnamon, dried flowers and black cherry are layered in this supple, easygoing Barolo. Drink it over the next handful of years."
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Italy has some of the oldest wine production methods in the world and almost every part of the country is planted under vine. From the Alps in the north to the very southernmost parts of Sicily where Africa is almost in sight, wine is successfully cultivated. In addition to the latitude covered, Italy's many mountains and hills provide a plethora of altitudes for grape growing in various soils and micro-climates. The extensive coastlines along the peninsula that is Italy provide maritime climates for the coastal wine-growing areas. Over 350 grape varieties are 'authorised' in Italy, though up to 550 varieties are thought to be grown.
The classification system of Italian wines has four classes, with the intention of defining a wine's origin a quality. Two of these classes are table wines, whilst DOC and DOCG fall under the EU quality wine produced in a specific region category. Vino da Tavola (VDT) means that the wine comes from Italy. Most of these wines are generally basic table wines that are consumed domestically. Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) denotes a more specific region within Italy, and the resultant will be of higher quality than simple table wines, but won't conform to the rules required for higher certification. Both Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) are regionally more specific than IGT, and have stricter rules regarding the grape varieties grown, yields per hectare, minimum alcohol levels and so on. The major difference between DOC and DOCG is that the latter has to undergo a blind-tasting session to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Italy has 32 DOCG appelations, 311 DOC appelations and 120 IGT zones.
Key regions include Piedmont, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sicily and Sardinia. Common white varieties grown are Pinot Grigio, Arneis, Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano and Moscato. The red varieties grown the most are Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Nero d'Avola and Corvina.
Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is probably the finest wine region in all of Italy, and has laid claim to this since Roman times. It has a continental climate influenced by the surrounding Alps and Ligurian Apennines, and is located in the north-west of Italy, bordering both France and Switzerland.
Piedmont has only 1% of the total vineyards of Bordeaux and 15% that of Burgundy. So while a top Chateaux may produce upwards of 35,000 cases a year, leading Barolo producers will often make only 800 cases. More than half of its vineyards are registered with DOC designations and many are in the Apennine or Alpine foothills, from 300-600m above sea level. Most of the wines are produced by smaller family estates rather than larger holdings.
Piedmont has 46 different DOC and four DOCG regions, and produces the largest number of well known, world-recognized, prize-winning wines. The most famous would have to be Barolo or Barbaresco, whose power comes from the Nebbiolo grape variety. The most widely planted red variety is Barbera although Dolcetto, Muscat, Shiraz and Bonarda are also produced.
The white variety most well known is Moscato, which is often made into frizzante (bubbly) wines known as Asti. Cortese is made into the popular Gavi wines, and smaller amounts of Chardonnay and high quality Sparkling are also produced in the far north of Piedmont.
Situated in the picturesque rolling hills of Piedmont, Italy, just south of the historic town of Alba, lies the renowned appellation of 'Barolo'. Steeped in tradition and history, this now DOCG status region is widely regarded as one of Italy's finest wine-producing areas, thanks to its production of exceptional red wines made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes.
Barolo wines are famed for their complex flavor profiles, firm tannins, and beguiling aromas, earning them the coveted title of ‘the King of Wines’ for centuries. While the DOCG defines winemaking practices, there are two distinct styles that winemakers tend to prefer - a traditional style and a modern style.
The region boasts two primary soil types - the sandy Tortonian marl, which tends to produce softer wines with a more delicate character, and the Helvetian sandstone clay, which typically gives rise to more robust, powerful wines. The continental climate of the area, characterized by a long summer and late autumn, provides an ideal environment for growing the fickle Nebbiolo grape to perfect ripeness, resulting in wines of unparalleled quality and character.
The winemaking history of Barolo can be traced back centuries, and the region's unique terroir, combined with the expertise of its winemakers, has resulted in the creation of some of Italy's most sought-after and collectible wines. Barolo wines are a perfect pairing with rich, hearty dishes, particularly those featuring truffles or wild game, and are a must-try for any serious wine lover.
In addition to producing world-class Barolo wines, the region is also renowned for its production of other fine wines, including Barbaresco, Dolcetto, and Barbera, all of which showcase the unique character and terroir of this remarkable wine-growing region. Whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply looking to explore one of Italy's most captivating regions, Barolo is an unforgettable destination that is sure to delight and inspire.
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About the brand G.D. Vajra
Working with high-altitude vineyards the road can be both arduous and stunningly beautiful, that lead us to wines where finesse and perfumes blend into one. Say hello to the wines of G.D. Vajra
From the Bricco delle Viole sub region of Barolo, this vineyard has been shaped gently over many years; swinging to the south, visible from several kilometres away. “On certain autumn days it seems to emerge like a promontory out of a sea of fog. Here the sun does not encounter obstacles. It rises early to the east and gives energy to the vineyards until the end of the day, when it sets in the west over the Alps.” A picturesque scene in the Italian countryside, the purity of the light here is balanced by the influence of the Alps and the proximity to the Tanaro river. These geographical features creates accentuated thermal changes, able to ripen the fruit slowly to perfection, preserving it from excessive heat and allowing the concentration of noble and delicate aromas such as violet, orange zest and star anise.
“This for us is a road, an inspiration, a vocation. In each vineyard we are looking for unique characters and personalities, but in all of them we search for this note of ethereal beauty, like a sweetly whispered poem.”