Serendipity with the venerable Vajra

24 Jan

Dolcetto, Coste e Fossati Dolcetto, Langhe Nebbiolo, Freisa and Bricco delle Viole Barolo

Today being Monday, the restaurant was closed and I assumed it would be quite the quiet and lonely day without my friends in black next door. Alas, things turned out to get somewhat better when I found a box of opened G.D. Vajra wines in the cheese room!


Mind you, not every day brings me such serendipitous offerings!

The son of Aldo, Giuseppe Vajra, had been down in Melbourne the past week for the Lorenzo Galli Scholarship 2011 of which I was part of. The following day after the completion of the masterclasses, he held a dinner at Enoteca Sileno where five amazing courses by relatively new chef Antony, complemented his wines. The box in the cheese room was leftovers and clearly for the taking…or I suppose I should say for the betterment of one’s education…namely, myself 🙂

Dolcetto 2008

Ripe raspberry and mulberry fruits, so rich in aromas, slightly nutty, clean meaty finish. Low tannins. Suspect it doesn’t handle being open for more than a few days!

Coste e Fossati Dolcetto 2008

Denser fruits, more length, savoury lick and a delectable violet finish. Wish I’d seen this fresh as well though. Slightly more expensive than the regular Dolcetto.

Langhe Nebbiolo 2008

Well-softened, palatable, juicy, mouthwatering (!), but again, slightly past its best. I’m hoping the Barolo’s not too badly affected. It’s got more guts so here’s hoping…


In Languedoc Kye’ means “I myself”. With a touch of coyness it means that this type of vinification and processing is the most complete expression of the vine species Freisa.

Freisa Kye’ 2007

My first Freisa. Been warned it will knock my socks off. The colour is denser than the Nebbiolo, tending towards a mid-ruby hue. It’s smoky and herbaceous, really astringent and overall quite raw. The challenge appeals to me. Note to self: Need to try more Freisa to compare.

Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2006

Black forest density on the nose (hello, this looks promising), hint of fatty pancetta, vague smoky hints, tannins still sticking and not gliding through the palate. In other words, as their latest Barolo release, you’d expect it to warrant some more time in the bottle before optimal drinking time anyway. The mid-palate flavour concentration is persistent and with a lovely hint of spice and inoffensive use of oak. It’s long. Incredibly (and not because I was hanging around the porcini section of the store), I got a surprise of porcini and earthy tones to the finish. Deluxe! Why on earth is the kitchen closed on Monday? 😦

All the wines are available at Enoteca Sileno who import them into our fine fine country

920 Lygon Street

Carlton 3054 VIC

4 Responses to “Serendipity with the venerable Vajra”

  1. Alex January 25, 2011 at 11:00 PM #

    Freisa – cool, haven’t come across this grape before so will keep a look out for it!

    • La Donna del Vino January 25, 2011 at 11:19 PM #

      Hey Alex,

      It’s a wee bit coarser than the ol’ Nebb, but pretty interesting nonetheless.
      Traditionally it was made as a slightly frothy wine too with more sweetness to balance out the bitterness. But Vajra are one doing the still style, and it does work, but you just have to be open to it. There’s even one to knock your socks off called Freisa Nebbiolata where the wine’s refermented on the skins of Barolo! Can you imagine?!!?!

      La Donna del Vino

    • La Donna del Vino January 25, 2011 at 11:35 PM #

      Robert Parker may not review it highly, but believe the Man of Italian wine Antonio Galloni instead in regards to this native Piemontese variety!

      Wine Advocate # 192 December 2010 eRobertParker

      by Antonio Galloni 94 points Drink: 2012 – 2022 $35
      The 2007 Langhe Freisa Kye explodes from the glass with layers of opulent, super-ripe dark fruit, herbs and French oak. The 2007 is an especially ripe, seductive Kye that begs for another few years in bottle to absorb its French oak. Once again, Vajra has taken this typically rustic native grape to a level previously unmatched….with the exception of Vajra’s previous vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

      Aldo and Milena Vajra craft some of the most beautiful, original wines in all of Italy. Frankly, it is impossible to go wrong with any of these superb bottles.


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