Sadly, late-harvest vintages are now fewer and far between with rising global temperatures. 2020 harvests occurred in some regions up to a week before their previous all-time records.

Today's offer highlights the other side of the coin, when those magical cool summer nights and temperate daytime conditions lead to long hang-time for grapes. Maximum complexity ensues. Balance prevails.

Today, I'm happy to offer the 2016 G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe & Bricco delle Viole.

G.D. Vajra concluded harvest on October 22nd and produced an all-time great success story in this highly-anticipated Piedmont vintage. Clarity, purity, length. I could go on and on, but, in short, this is the kind of vintage I go deep on. Stylistically, 2016 falls between the epic 2010 and traditional-leaning 2013, both late vintages.

In the case of Vajra's contemporaries like Bartolo Mascarello and Giuseppe Rinaldi, their wines are nearly impossible to source, and when you do the pricing exceeds $300 per bottle. Vajra's flagship "Albe" Barolo offered today at $46 per bottle hits the value bullseye like nothing else in Piedmont.

Aldo and Milena Vaira bottled their first vintage in 1978 from vineyards planted by Aldo's father in 1948. Vajra's vineyards are set at the highest elevation in the commune of Barolo. From the start, Aldo was heavily influenced by the traditional approach of his neighbors down the hill, Bartolo Mascarello, and Beppe Rinaldi.

The Vajra wines stand at a perfect intersection between two styles. Aldo has noted descriptions of the estate as "The most modern of the traditionalists and the most traditional of the modernists". Though traditional fermentation and aging is the common approach, the accessibility and seamless texture of the wines calls to mind modern sensibilities.