Family-owned and operated G.D. Vajra, established by Aldo and Milena Vaira in 1972 in the Barolo appellation of the Italian Piedmont, crafts wines of exceptional expression and purity. We recently had opportunity to tour the winery with Isidoro Vaira, Aldo and Milena’s son and second generation producer, and taste through their portfolio of current releases. We were impressed with the family’s dedication to quality and sensitivity to evolving wine styles and tastes. Their wines, generally speaking, strike a deft — and delicious — balance between tradition and modernity. As a matter of introduction to G.D. Vajra wines, we start with their lower-tier, blended red (“rosso”) table wine that is available in the United States, affordable, food-friendly, and well-suited to everyday drinking. Appellated as Langhe DOC and sourced from various vineyards in the region, it is a blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera, primarily, along with small quantities of Albarossa, Freisa, and Pinot Noir. The multiple varieties harmonize seamlessly, offering aromas of rose petal, candied cherry, and cinnamon stick, followed by flavors of raspberry preserve, rose water, and sage — all accented with notions of fennel and mineral over a savory finish. It is dry, fresh, and velvety on the palate, with crisp acidity and mild tannins. This is an easygoing and versatile wine meant to be consumed young and at table. (The wine’s character reflects its upbringing: G.D. Vajra’s Rosso is aged in stainless steel tanks, with some exposure to neutral oak, for 14-16 months.) Serve it with mild or medium-sharp cheeses, prosciutto, bruschetta, fresh or grilled vegetables, and of course, any variety of Italian fare.
Editor’s Note: The NWR Tasting Panel will be featuring more G.D. Vajra wines in the weeks to come, as we taste our way up to their higher-end Barolo bottlings. Stay tuned.
Availability: G.D. Vajra’s Langhe Rosso is available at various fine wine merchants nationwide and through some online wine merchants. Check with your local wine merchant for availability. In the Washington, D.C., area, it is available at Calvert Woodley (www.calvertwoodley.com) and Unwined (www.unwinedva.com). For more information about G.D. Vajra and their wines, visit them virtually at www.gdvajra.it.