Aldo and Milena Vaira established G.D.Vajra in 1972 with some of the best vineyards in the Langhe. In total they own 25 hectares of vines with a further 10 hectares contracted for their production. They produce on average 100,000 bottles a year. Aldo Vajra and his children Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro aim to make wines that express the terroir of their vineyards, which are located in the Vergne zone of Barolo. The wines reflect their maker’s highly individual and personal style, they exhibit great nuance, elegance, and understatement, just like the man himself.
In the 1980s newlyweds Milena and Aldo were already cultivating a little area of Ravera planted to 100% Nebbiolo. This wine is the expression of a wait lasting more than 10 years, allowing the vines to mature and the wines to gain the right structure. It’s the sunniest, most silent and beautiful amphitheatre of the area. Ravera sits at an average elevation of 360 metres and is situated at the confluence of two different geological matrices. Over millions of years
the layers were superimposed, creating a rather fragile soil subject to erosion, but with enormous potential. It is predominantly Sant’Agata fossil marl, interspersed with sand deposits rich in iron. This undergoes a lengthy period of maceration, perhaps up to 45 days, including a short stint with submerged cap. Malolactic conversion takes place in steel in the spring following the harvest. It is aged for 30 months in 30hL Slavonian oak casks before bottling.
The boldest of the G.D. Vajra crus. The nose has very intense, rich and ripe darker cherries with a savory, sanguine edge. The palate has layer upon layer of rich dark berries and concentrated, quite rich tannins that carry plenty of brambly dark-cherry flavor. So keenly defined, too. Impressive weight. Try from 2024. Date Tasted Aug 2020; Rating: 96 Points; Nick Stock; jamessuckling.com
Tight, like a tiger. The roar of Ravera is heard in the distance here, but the patient among us will get to tame and stroke the beast. It’s inwardly lit, with rippling firm acidity, red fruits like raspberry and strawberry, alongside some mint, almond and roses. Glides on rails of fine powdery tannin, orange juice and spice, finishes juicy, long and zesty, with a pinch of white pepper. Pent up. Precise. It’s an outstanding wine. Tasted: Aug 2020; Alcohol: 14.5%; Price: $183; Closure: Cork; Drink: 2025-2036+; Rated: 96+ Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
The 2016 Barolo Ravera is the most angular, powerful and vertical of the various Baroli presented by G.D. Vajra. The optimal growing conditions of this classic vintage contribute to the wine's vertical lift and pronounced depth. The Ravera cru (that spans the comuni of Novello and Barolo) is characterized by Toronian-era marl with clay and sandstone at 320 to 340 meters above sea level. That's the ideal spot for wines that show both power and elegance. The tannins are sweeter on this wine, but the fiber is tight and firm. Red and purple fruits with licorice, tar and white truffle are folded neatly within. Some 6,000 bottles are hitting the market now. Tasted: Jul 2020; Drink: 2024-2045; Rating: 95 Points; Monica Larner; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
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