Winery of the Month
For this month we are going to the North West of Italy, and the Piedmont region of Italy. Within Piedmont there are many famous sub-regions, but we are going to focus on the D.O.C.G. of Barolo. The region takes its name from a small town lying just south west of Alba. Wines carrying the Barolo name must be made exclusively from the Nebbiolo Grape. There are 11 communes allowed to make “Barolo” which you may or may not see on the label along with vineyard names. There are two basic sections of Barolo. The western part lies on Tortonian soils while the eastern part lies on Helvetian soils. The wines from the Tortonian soils tend to be softer and more fruit forward while the Helvetian soil wines tend to need some ageing to reach full potential.
The Vajra family had farmed vineyards since the 20’s and sold the produce. With the advent of the DOC system and the fame of the Barolo region growing Giuseppe Domenico found that he could make a living making wine. So, in 1972 he founded the GD Vajra Winery in the village of Vergne. The vineyards around Vergne are the highest of Barolo. Today the estate is run by Giuseppe’s son, Aldo, and wife Milena. The winery is known for Barolos, but makes a wide variety from whites to slightly sparkling reds, and many things in-between.
Luigi Baudana Dragon
Dragon is an interesting blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and an indigenous grape Nascetta (maybe only ten producers use this grape anymore). The wine is un-oaked so you get bright fresh apple, melon and citrus flavors. Medium bodied with bright acidity and a clean lingering finish. A good white that can handle lots of different foods.
Regularly $19.99 Sale $14.99
This is a throwback to the way Nebbiolo’s used to be made in the 1800’s. It is made from the younger Nebbiolo vines that are deemed not ready for Barolo yet. Stay with me, and don’t get scared but, the wine is red and has bubbles and should be served slightly chilled (I know it seems slightly weird). Lots of bright berry fruits and did I mention bubbles yet. Seriously, give it a try and it pairs well with pizza, just a hint.
Regularly $24.99 Sale $18.99
Luigi Baudana Barolo
This is a big bold Barolo. Showing tons of black berry fruit on top of light chocolate. There are some classic leather and rose notes as well. When the Baudana’s were looking to step down they asked the Vajra’s if they were interested in purchasing the winery, so in 2008 they did.
Regularly $83.99 Sale $62.99
G.D.Vajra Bricco delle Viole Barolo
Here is the Barolo that Vajra is known for. Cherry and dark berries surround the chewy tannins and toasted oak flavors. Secondary flavors of roses and leather are subtle but persistent. This is an enticing wine that seems to be drinking well now and with the potential to age for ten years.
Regularly $83.99 Sale $62.99
P.S. I love Barolo