Grapelive: Wine of the Day June 27, 2016

2011VajraAlbe2011 G.D. Vajra, Barolo “Albe” Piedmote, Italy.
I often I get quizzed on what I think the best world class red wines are that sell for under $50, without question it seems to be getting harder to chose, not for the lack of options, but because there are so many, you just need to think outside the box a bit, away from Napa Cabernet, some Pinots and Burgundy, with Italy and Spain being great places to explore, and in particular this G.D. Vajra Albe Barolo stands out. Here you get a tremendous value in quality Nebbiolo from a top winemaker, Giuseppe Vajra, and this 2011 is perfectly happy to opened right away, though structured enough to age well for a decade with lovely ripe fruit, mineral, spice, beautiful detail and a solid soul of terroir along with nice sensual magnetism. All of Vajra’s wines have a raw sex appeal and are gloriously lovely to drink with texture, delicacy and life and this 2011 flows with vibrant flavors starting with dark berries, mixed floral tones, a bit of earth, game and stones along with a light touch of wood and classic Nebbiolo markers through out and lengthy finish, while less intense and deep than his Cru bottlings, you certainly can see the class and talent in this wine. I must say, this wine might make my top five or for sure top ten red wines under $50, that I would buy, along with Remelluri Rioja, Jean Foillard Morgon, Salvo Foti Etna Rosso and St. Innocent Oregon Pinot Noir, plus Lucia (Pisoni Family) Syrah, Stolpman Syrah, Alfaro Family Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains and Guimaro Mencia Ribera Sacra! Just a few awesome choices, though I left a hundred great wines out! So, if you need to bring something special with exceptional pedigree and with the lust factor, without breaking the bank check out Vajra’s Albe Barolo and it’s layers of black cherry, damson plum, hoisin, melted black licorice, crushed violets, cedary spice and lingering distilled strawberry and framboise notes, it has satiny ripe tannins and smooth acidity, making it very charming and graceful, though much more rewarding when matched with friends and cuisine, this is another brilliant offering from Giuseppe Vajra and team, best from 2018 to 2024.
($45 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive