Barolo, like many of the great wines of the world, are released years after the harvest. In fact, Barolo needs to be aged at least three years before it can be released, with 18 months of that time in wood. If the Barolo is aged for a total of five years, it can be labeled a Riserva. This is why we are just seeing the better wines from the 2017 vintage, from this legendary region, being released now. The 2017 Barolo is a tremendous vintage, which is why we are excited to offer them to you today. The wines below are made in limited quantities, just a couple thousand bottles each year, with very little coming into the United States. We have a nice allotment of this vintage due to arrive in a few weeks. This is your best chance to reserve these top wines made by the Vajra family.
"By now I have run out of superlatives for Vajra. Suffice it to say these are some of the finest, artisan wines being made in Piedmont today. At a time when prices for so many wines are skyrocketing out of control, Vajra's prices are a breath of fresh air." – Antonio Galloni
The wines from G.D. Vajra, while new to the Barolo region, where some producers date back hundreds of years, have shown they are able to stand side by side with the old guard, in a very short time. The Vajra family has the advantage of being located above everyone in the Barolo appellation, on Bricco delle Viole. The family has farmed this vineyard since the 1880's, but it was Aldo Vajra who incredibly at the age of 15, fell in love with the vines and being in nature and took over his grandparents’ winery. Aldo had a vision and the commitment to push this land to higher levels. He also earned the first organic certification in Barolo in 1971. He is known as a pioneer in the region, introducing new wine varietals like Riesling and reviving noble and lost ones like Freisa.
Today, Aldo and his wife Milena, are joined by their children Giuseppe, Francesca, and Isidoro. The quality of the wine they produce is superior, it not only shows in their Barolo, but in their lesser expensive wines, too! We currently stock their Lange Rosso, this is worth a try if you love Piedmontese wines.
We are also featuring wines from Luigi Baudana and for good reason. About 10 years ago, Giuseppe Vajra started quietly making the Baudana wines with Luigi. Luigi and his wife did not have any heirs who would take over their winery, so they decided the Vajra family would carry on their legacy. The Vajra Family began to farm the Baudana & Ceretta vineyard parcels and make the wine, while continuing the Baudana name and their history in Serralunga. Luigi and Fiorina are now fully retired. The wines here do differ; the Vajra wines typically have more polish and elegance while the Baudana wines are more old-school, austere and powerful. The Baudana wines reward patience while their tannins soften.
This is a pre-arrival offer - all wines are due to arrive late next week or the week of September 5th. The sale price listed is for solid six packs which is how they are shipped. If you would like less than six bottles of a singular wine, you can mix six or more selections. Wines are offered on a first come, first served basis. Please let us know what you are interested in ASAP as some will sell out before they arrive.
94 Points - Wine Advocate
"With fruit from higher-elevation vineyards in the village of Barolo, the 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is quite elegantly downplayed and fragile. The wine reveals wild berry, cassis and lots of blue flower or lilac. A pretty mineral note recalls crushed limestone and is present through the long and polished mouthfeel. This wine overperforms, considering the challenges of this vintage that saw extreme weather, from spring frost to scorching summer temperatures. These vineyard sites performed better than most." - Monica Larner, Jun 2021
93 Points - Vinous
"The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is pretty, supple and inviting. Some of the tannins need to resolve, but this is a young Barolo after all. The Coste di Rose doesn't have the sensuality of the Albe or the pedigree of the Viole, but it nevertheless has so much to give. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, mint, crushed rocks and sage are some of the many notes that linger. I won't be surprised if the 2017 is even better than this note suggests once it softens a bit." - Antonio Galloni
95 Points - Wine Advocate
"The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is packed with medium dark cherry fruit and plum. The wine also shows a savory side, with spice, hazelnut cream, licorice and lightly fragrant potting soil. This vintage sits solid on the palate, wrapping thickly over the senses, thanks to its creamy, fruit-driven consistency and well-managed tannins. These vines are high in elevation, ranging from 400 to 480 meters in altitude. Those higher elevations are key to interpreting a vintage that saw heat such as this." - Monica Larner, June 2021
95 Points - Vinous
"The 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is classy and elegant to the core. Medium in body and wonderfully translucent, the 2017 captures all of the finesse of this site. Naturally, the 2017 also shows the ripeness of the year, but it retains its sublime sense of poise. The 2017 Bricco delle Viole is one of the clear stand outs of the year." - Antonio Galloni, Feb 2021
95 Points - Vinous
"The 2017 Barolo Ravera is gorgeous right out of the gate. I am so impressed with its depth and pedigree. Rose petal, sweet red berry fruit, lavender, spice and dried herbs are all finely delineated in a Barolo of tremendous presence. Orange peel, cinnamon and cedar develop later, adding shades of dimension. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s stature and power. The 2017 is going to be fascinating to follow. Today, it is just breathtaking. That’s all there is to it." - Antonio Galloni, Feb 2021
95 Points - Wine Advocate
"The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Ravera shows solid build and consistency, with more rich and saturated fruit compared to the other Barolo releases from this historic estate. The Ravera cru offers broad shoulders with a tight textural fabric. That powerful approach makes a good sounding board for the wine’s dark cherry, plum, dark mineral and spice flavors. This is more of a red meat wine." - Monica Larner, June 2021
95+ Points - Vinous
"The 2017 Barolo Baudana is such a gorgeous wine. It, too conveys the power of Serralunga, but with a bit less heft than is typically the case. Sweet dark cherry, iron, cedar, rose petal, mint and white pepper give the 2017 its effusive, inviting personality. This is such a tremendous showing." - Antonio Galloni, Feb 2021
93 Points - Wine Advocate
"From a historic vineyard in Serralunga d'Alba, the Luigi Baudana 2017 Barolo Baudana takes an extra minute to open and ultimately reveals a consistent and compact package of aromas centered on dark fruit, rusty earth and crushed flowers. It's quite nice the way the wine holds its cards closer to its proverbial chest. It lets its guard down one little piece at a time. There is some sweetness, too, and the wine feels weighty and powerful. I'd definitely give it a few more years of cellar aging so that the wine finds time to focus and flesh out. Some 3,500 bottles were released."- Monica Larner, June 2021
96 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
"A sweet perfume lifts from the 2017 Barolo Cerretta, with fresh violets, kirsch, cinnamon, and sage. The palate is energetic with forward fruit through the mid-palate with persistence, with tea leaf and present but well-integrated tannins. The Cerretta displays the elegance that is possible within the 2017 vintage. Drink 2022-2040." - Jeb Dunnuck
95+ Points - Vinous
"A dark, somber wine, the 2017 Barolo Cerretta shows the more potent, brooding side of Serralunga. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, cured meats, cloves and menthol add to an impression of virile intensity and pure power. Readers will have to be patient here, but there is certainly a ton to look forward to. This is another impressive showing from Baudana and the Vajra family." - Antonio Galloni, Feb 2021
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