Dr. Vino posted an interesting article about GD Vajra and Guiseppe's take on the modernist vs. traditionalist debate, and also his unique approach to ranking vintages. It's another great example of how difficult it is getting to categorize producers into modern or traditional camps. Rather, the lines have blurred for many of the region's top producers. Ultimately, Guiseppe's father, Aldo, describes Vajra as "clean traditionalist." Whatever that means.
Regardless, I love Vajra's wines. There is a real sense of excitement at City Wine Merchant as we begin to see the arrival of the much-anticipated 2010 Barolo releases. We have already received wines from great names like Corino, Grasso and Pira. Vajra's Barolo 'Albe' promises to be one of the buys of the vintage. Situated in Vergne, the highest village in the Commune of Barolo, the estate was established in 1972 by Giuseppe Domenico. The current owners, Milena and Aldo Vajra, have worked the vineyards since the early 1970s, and Aldo now works alongside his son, Giuseppe. Vajra currently owns 40 sustainably farmed vineyards including Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne, at elevations between 350-400 meters. Albe (dawn) is a reference to the sun rising over his vineyards. The wine is a blend of three vineyards and elevations.
Vajra is producing some of the most consistent, beautiful and well-priced wines from Piemont. The 2008 vintage Albe remains one of our all-time best-selling wines. I expect the demand for the 2010 vintage to eclipse even that (it's off to a great start). We recently sent out a private offer for this wine. Jump on it if you can. It's a great wine. We will be seeing a lot more writing on the 2010 vintage in Piedmont. Stay tuned!