Over the last few years, we have made many comments about the value to be found in Barolo. Simply put, the prices of various wines haven’t yet caught up with the quality on show – we can’t say it any clearer than that. The 2013 Barolo ‘Baudana’, Luigi Baudana that we offer here at £255 per 6 bottle case in bond is one such example. Simon's comments, below.
If I had to single out one rising star, it would be the estate of G.D. Vajra in Vergne, a village within the commune of Barolo itself. The estate was founded in 1972 and has, frankly, gone from strength to strength. It is their Nebbiolo that are the most sought after, with vines in the Barolo Cru vineyards of Bricco delle Viole, Ravera, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. Every year we lobby for a little more volume of their Barolo where possible – particularly when it comes to the Ravera and Bricco delle Viole which are bottled as single vineyard wines. The issue is that demand far outstrips production.
I was delighted to learn that the Vajras had taken on the estate of Luigi Baudana, a partnership that began nearly a decade ago. Although one of the smallest estates in Piemonte, with just 2.6 hectares of vines, the estate has important holdings in two new Cru vineyards, Cerretta and Baudana itself, both situated in Serralunga d’Alba. Were we going to be able to access more wines crafted by the Vajras? Initially no, we weren’t able to access any stocks as allocations to loyal clients of Luigi Baudana were honoured. However our persistence paid off and we finally managed to access a parcel of just 30 cases just recently… virtually one year after the initial release!
The Vajra style is one that I think shows the evolving style of Barolo. While there is something reassuringly traditional here, there is also a modern-day clarity and purity about the wines. Many critics cite the almost Burgundian qualities of the Vajra Barolo and it is easy to see why; scented aromatics, silky textures, fine underpinning tannins, ripe, succulent fruit and fine persistence. There is so much to like about the style of their wines.
I am equally impressed by the consistency of the Vajra wines. Having previously tasted the Luigi Baudana wines prior to the Vajra family’s involvement, I was immediately struck by the impact of their approach. This is early days in a new chapter for the Luigi Baudana estate, which will keep its name in honour of the previous owner. When speaking with Giuseppe Vajra at a recent tasting, he explained just how tricky it was to acquire the estate without alerting other growers to its availability and their intentions. It was well worth their efforts…
Below I include Antonio Galloni’s note.
2013 Barolo ‘Baudana’, Luigi Baudana
94 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
£255 per 6 bottle case in bond
The 2013 Barolo Baudana opens with striking, beguiling aromatics. Deep, pliant and sensual on the palate, the 2013 exudes fruit intensity to the point the tannins are nearly buried. Intense savory and mineral notes provide an underpinning of virile intensity that builds into the super-expressive finish. The Baudana is a bit creamier and deeper in texture than the Cerretta. Drink 2020-2033.
Antonio Galloni tasted this in February 2017 as I did at the estate. I had the chance to re-taste in London a year later and think that the wine has come together incredibly well, showing a very fine depth of fruit; a very classy Barolo that could be broached in four to five years’ time given the harmony on show.