Why is this Wine so Yummy?
From the Winery:
Our focus for the Langhe Nebbiolo Nebbiolo is is purity of aromatics. Fruit of our young vines, including Bricco Bertone, is hand-picked early in the morning so to capture its quintessential character. Vinification is long and extremely gentle so to retain lift and tension to this wine.
VARIETY: 100% Nebbiolo.
VINEYARD AND TERROIR: Young vineyards in Barolo, Novello, Sinio and Bricco Bertone.
2017 was a vintage of rich wines with plenty of energy and aromatics. After a mild winter with little snow and an anticipated vegetative development, temperatures brutally dropped around mid April, causing frost across Europe (4/19th-20th). The Vajra vineyards were entirely spared from the ice, being located at high elevation, with our immense relief and gratitude. Starting May, weather turned stable. Days were hot but nights cooler than in 2003 or 2011. The major diuturnal drop preserved the vines from water stress, despite little rainfalls. High elevation sites received more water too, contributing to a very healthy balance for the vines. By early September, night temperatures dropped even further, enhancing phenolic ripening while slowing down sugar accumulation. Average time between bud break and ripening was of 185 days. As a reference, ‘hot’ vintages lengthen 170 days and ‘late’ vintage 200 days (source: Consorzio Langhe).
HARVEST AND WINEMAKING:
Nebbiolo is harvested usually between the second half of September and the beginning of October. Picking decisions are individual to each site, and we sometimes opt for multiple passages to respect the diversity of each vine. Fermentation lasts for an average of 15-20 days in vertical vats, and is followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation.
Our Langhe Nebbiolo ages for usually 8 to 14 months. It is a wide range, in order to respect the uniqueness of each vintage and patiently await for the
optimal bottling time. Most of the ageing is carried in stainless-steel vats, with a minor fraction of the wine being in neutral oak only when needed.
2017 displays an alluring bright ruby red colour. Perfumes are vibrant, with lots of raspberry tones, followed by red cherry and stone fruits, ramassin plum and florals. In the palate, this Nebbiolo is generous and vibrant, fresh, with reminescence of raspberry and a hint of fresh mountain strawberry. There is plenty of red tones supported by elegant and gracious tannins and a delicious, lifted finish.
Fruit for the Barolo Ravera DOCG was blended into the Langhe Nebbiolo until 2009 vintage, as the Vajra family was patiently waiting for the vines to grow mature.
We had the great fortune to spend an afternoon with Guiseppe this year. His passion, and, his families passion, thoughtful, and, humble approach to their work is inspiring.
Listen to 🎧Giusseppe explore the history of Barolo, the estate, and, the wines.
Words from Giuseppe Vaira
Bricco delle Viole is like a cut of silk: pure, elegant, and ethereal. Born on the highest hill of Barolo, a promontory facing south, embraced by the Alps. It receives the first morning sun and the last ray of the evening. In autumn this vineyard seems to float above the fog, as if detached from time and light. The vineyard features material from 1949 and successive plantings in 1963, 1968 and 1985. Bricco delle Viole possesses extremely white soils. Rich in limestone, magnesium and manganese, with the contribution of high altitude and the afternoon breeze, these soils create
wines rich in finesse, floral aromas and freshness. The old vines of Bricco delle Viole are the last to be harvested – a wait that makes our heart beat faster, because the weather can change rapidly in autumn. But the patience of the farmer knows that the wait will be rewarded with high aromatic complexity and extreme finesse. The fruit undergoes a long maceration that might go as long as 45 days, including some time with a submerged cap. Malolactic conversion takes place in steel in the spring following the harvest. It’s then aged for 32 months in 25hL Slavonian oak casks before bottling.
Vajra is one of those producers that, across their range, manages to deliver sophisticated, fun wines that are great expressions of fruit. Thankfully, unlike many, Giuseppe understands restraint and oak!
“I try to make wines that give people joy. In the past wine was a food, it was necessary for sustenance. Today that is not the case, we choose to drink for pleasure. I want to make wines that bring people happiness.” Aldo Vajra
The Vajra family has quietly amassed a serious collection of vineyards that make them one of Piedmont’s larger, family-owned estates, something they have accomplished while maintaining the already high level of their entry-level wines. Every wine in the range is absolutely delicious and full of personality. I can’t recommend these new releases highly enough. Antonio Galloni