In 1990, Aldo Vajra invited me to lunch in La Morra....
Producer profile: GD Vajra
We blinked at each other across the table, trying to converse through a fog of his English and my Italian.
These days we just speak French. He seemed shy and nervous as he poured his wines. He needn’t have been: I admired them then, and I admire them now.
The Vajra house often feels like my Italian home, as I have watched the three children grow up, and waved goodbye to my wife as she and Vajra’s wife Milena went gallivanting around the countryside.
So in a sense I shouldn’t include the Vajra wines here, as I can’t be sure that my judgement is unclouded. Yet I’ve rated his Bricco delle Viole Barla highly in blind tastings and I believe the wines have never been better.
So, yes, this choice smacks of conflict of interest – sentimental rather than commercial. But I can live with that.
GD Vajra, Bricco delle Viole, Barolo 2011
This is from a forward vintage, so no surprise that the emphasis, on the nose and palate, is on delicacy and charm rather than power and weight. That doesn’t mean it lacks concentration. Indeed it has ample tension and balance, and wonderful purity of fruit, mirroring the perfumed, floral nose. (93/100 pts)
Buy: UK £45.99 AG Wines, Hedonism // US $75.99 Wine.com
GD Vajra, Bricco delle Viole, Barolo 2009
Fragrant red fruit nose with a whiff of sour cherries. A medium-bodied Barolo, fresh and stylish, ripe and concentrated, with delicious and vibrant fruit fleshing out a wine that is already accessible. Good acidity and length. (91/100pts)
Buy: £51.67 Millésima // US $71.99 Wine.com