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G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d'Alba 2011

Dolcetto from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP90
  • WS90
17% ABV
  • RP90
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17% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Luigi Baudana is the last scion of one of the oldest wine families of Serralunga d'Alba. His winery has been a secret for a bunch of fortunate wine lovers for over thirty years, producing a limited amount of Barolo and other wines. In 2003 Luigi and wife Fiorina started to look for a future for their estate. The research lasted long, until they found in Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro Vaira, children of Aldo and Milena of G.D. Vajra, Barolo, the enthusiasm, energies and will to preserve the past history and prolong the future of this beautiful little jewel. The three kids, in their early twenties, consider themselves ‘i guardiani' [the guardians] of this century-long winery and have started operations in 2008 vintage in the Baudana cellar. Farming is sustainable and takes advantage of organic and biodynamic practices; no chemical manipulation occur to the wines.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Vajra's 2011 Dolcetto d’Alba emerges from the glass with blackberries, smoke, game and incense. This is a decidedly dark, brooding Dolcetto that at times recalls Syrah in its flavor profile. Firm tannins frame the long, insistent finish. This is a fabulous showing and a serious over achiever. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A graphite aroma segues to cherry, raspberry and spice flavors in this stylish version, supple and polished, with a long aftertaste of fresh fruit and sweet spices. Drink now through 2018. 4,800 cases made.
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G.D. Vajra

G.D. Vajra

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G.D. Vajra, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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The winery is located at West side of Barolo Common, in Vergne locality. Inherited in 1972 by Aldo Vaira it's, today, a solid reality where the wine quality and the love for work are principal features. Here, the typical vines of Piedmont are cultivated with a great respect for the vocation of every plot of land. The history says that these lands have been formed millions of years ago, and geologically must be referred to as the Tortonian, the typical soil of Barolo and La Morra, with calcareous marl, white and blue, inserted into rocky residuals. Thanks to that, the wines are elegant, fragrant, fruity with a particular aging capacity.

An historic village situated right in between the famous regions of Barolo and Barbaresco, Alba is also the name for the larger wine region surrounding the village.

In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.

Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.

Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.

Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.

Dolcetto

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An easy-drinker with modest acidity, soft fruity flavors—but catchy tannins, Dolcetto is often enjoyed in its native Piedmont while more serious Barolos and Barbarescos take their time to age. Here, this is the wine you are most likely to find at the table on a casual Tuesday night, accompanying local charcuterie or "apertivo" hour (the canonical Piemontese way to tease your palate before dinner). In recent years Dolcetto has found some footing in California, but plantings are fairly limited outside of Italy.

In the Glass

Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one,” and though the wines produced are typically not sweet in terms of residual sugar, they do possess delightfully fruity flavors of red cherry and blueberry, with an almond-like bitterness at the end and occasional hints of chocolate and baking spice.

Perfect Pairings

Dolcetto is a lively, exuberant variety without a ton of complexity in most cases, and as such is best paired with simple, flavorsome foods such as pasta, pizza and simple meats—anything an Italian farmer might consume after a long day in the field.

Sommelier Secret

In most of Piedmont, easy-ripening Dolcetto is relegated to the secondary sites—the best of which are reserved for the king variety: Nebbiolo. However, in the Dogliani zone it is the star of the show, and here it makes a bigger, riper and a more serious style of Dolcetto, many of which can improve with cellar time.

STC149445_2011 Item# 122439