DESCRIPTION: Historically, Dolcetto was cultivated in prime land, just above Nebbiolo vineyards. At Vajra, we remain loyal to this approach and keep farming this variety in places of true vocation. Our Dolcetto d’Alba DOC is a homage to a wonderful, often overlooked heritage of Piemonte. It is a pure, vibrant and fruity expression of the grape, ideal for many food pairings from appetizers to pastas and vegetables and light proteins such as white meats and egg-based dishes. 2019 is a beautiful, profound wine. It is joyful and readily accessible, yet it discloses in the glass with many layers of fruits and floral tones.
VARIETY: 100% Dolcetto.
VINEYARD AND TERROIR: Multiple estate vineyards with an average age of 25-30 years.
GROWING: In 1971, Aldo Vajra, then still a university student, was one of the earliest to adopt organic farming in Piemonte. Vineyards have been nurtured, and soil preserved, by grassing and spontaneous cover crop for almost 50 years now. They are sustainable and organic certified. With an incredible ratio of manual work per hectare, farming at Vajra is a labor of love and “recipe-free” attention. Intense research is also placed into monitoring and improving the biodiversity of both flora and fauna not just in the vineyards, but also in the winery fields and forests.
VINTAGE: 2019 was marked by an early bud break, late flowering and a slow and progressive ripening. These elements turned the vintage into one of the longest and latest of the decade. Early winter snows and moderate rain falls throughout the year preserved the water reservoirs and laid the conditions for a balanced phenolic ripening. Thankfully, the Langhe were spared from both the April frost and the dramatic heat of late June. A severe hailstorm hit some vineyards on September 5th. Low yields since flowering, slow ripening, late harvest, excellent phenolic maturity and a great acidity spine: it all reminds of 2013. We foresee the potential for a truly remarkable vintage.
HARVEST AND WINEMAKING: In 2019, Dolcetto harvest was a late one. We started on September 16th and wrapped it on the 24th. As the vineyards are located at high elevation (thus protected from thermal inversion) they allow for a longer hanging period and a full phenolic ripening. Our vinification usually lasts up to 15-20 days, with a couple of punch-downs per day. Wine is racked twice prior to malolactic fermentation, which takes place in stainless-steel vats.
AGING: Our Dolcetto d’Alba DOC is aged in stainless-steel only, so to preserve all of its freshness and brightness. Bottling in the Spring waning moon.
TASTING NOTES: The 2019 Dolcetto d’Alba has a lively deep purple color. The nose opens with tones of wild berries, mulberry, hints of white pepper and sweet spices and fresh thyme. The palate is bursting with blue fruits and fresh plums, with a gentle tart touch that smoothen up beautifully with food. The finish is elegant with a lovely almond whiffle. A true food-friendly wine that enhances egg pastas, pizza, white and red meats and vegetable-based dishes.