Barolo, Piemonte, Italy
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 and Coste di Vergne. 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 positive characteristics - but 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.