Today I had the opportunity to meet Giuseppe Vajra from the winery G.D. Vajra in Piedmont, Italy. I have been a fan of Vajra wines for sometime so it was a great experience to meet Giuseppe today. For whatever reason, I find it intoxicating when Italian’s speak of their wines, more so than any other region.
My Tasting Notes:
2008 Langhe Bianco – 100% Riesling – floral with light citrus, and apricot notes. Lucious pear combined with great acidity at the back of the palate. Very Austrian in style of texture but the mid – palate is much “fatter”. Extremely nice!
2007 Langhe Rosso – Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo blend with 5% Pinot Noir and 2% Freisa – lots of red cherry, cola, red currant, leather notes and spice. Medium bodied with velvety tannins.
2007 Dolcetto D’ Alba – light cherry and raspberry notes with the flavor of actually berries. Red currant and cherry predominate the palate with hints of cola. Full bodied, especially for a Dolcetto – smooth tannins.
2007 Langhe Nebbiolo – leather, blackberry and “rum” on the nose. Palate full of black cherry, leather, dry dirt, hints of eucalyptus and cassis. Full body, with great acidity.
2004 Barolo – tomato leaf, rustic red fruit aromas, leather, boysenberry, blackberry and truffle oil on the palate. Fuzzy tannins and full bodied long finish. Still plenty of life, but approachable now. Beautiful!
2005 Langhe Freisa – menthol, leather and slight barnyard notes with fruit start to appear towards the back of the palate. Dark cherry and black currant predominate with some brambly fruit character and black pepper making an appearance. Lively acidity and full bodied. Excellent wine.
I spoke with Giuseppe on the ’09 vintage and he said it was a great, but not excellent one. “Definitely couldn’t close your eyes and sleep through this vintage, we had to do some work.” For most of the harvest it was status quo but some rain in September brought about that question of “pick now or later”. They chose to pick later and after the rain passed, had an incredible week of brilliant sunshine and cooler than normal nights. This helped to raise sugar levels and increase ripeness while maintaining great acidity. “It is an extermely hard thing to watch all of your neighbors bring in their fruit, while you wait out the ‘storm’.”
If you get a chance to try Vajra wines, I insist that you do – they are quite nice, and fairly priced for the region.