90

2012 Torre del Falasco, Cantina Valpantena, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, Veneto

( £9.99, 14%, Rude Wines )

Less sweet than many commercial Ripasso bottlings – and none the worse for that – this is also showing a bit of bottle-aged complexity, combining notes of plum, strawberry and fig, a nip of tannin and no obvious oak. The combination of fruit, acidity and residual sugar is very well handled here. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-19Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, Red, Corvina

The shock of the new

by Matt Walls
When tasting my way through a large number of unfamiliar wines, there are a few tell-tale signs that I’ve encountered something special. Firstly, an involuntary smile creeps over my face....

Top 50 Italian Wines – Classifica 2015

by Tim Atkin
Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio – Monprivato Barolo DOCG 2010 – Piemonte Giuseppe Rinaldi – Brunate Barolo DOCG 2011 – Piemonte Duemani – Duemani Costa Toscana – IGP Cabernet Franc 2012...

Buon Viaggio

by Andrea Frost
People can be so virtuous when it comes to the appropriate amount of luggage to pack for an overseas trip. I was packing for a six-week wine journey through Italy...
91

2013 G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont

( £13, 13%, Liberty Wines )

This is only the “entry point” Dolcetto from the Vajra family, but it’s still a deliciously aromatic example of Piedmont’s everyday red. Aromatic and fruity, showing flavours of plum and black cherry, as well as aromas of violets, it’s at its best when lightly chilled. Aren’t we all? Long and refreshing with chalky acidity. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, Red

Braver New World

by Matt Walls
“Sorry I’m late sir. Ignore the bandage, I had an unexpected visit to the hospital to get my ear seen to. Anyway – I understand you’d like me to paint...
93

2013 G.D. Vajra Petracine Riesling, Langhe, Piedmont

( TBC, 13%, Liberty Wines )

There isn’t a lot of competition in Piedmont, but this has to be the region’s best Riesling. Nor would it look shabby in a tasting with examples from the Alto Adige. Made entirely with clone 49 on poor, sandy soils, it’s a dry, tangy style with notes of white flowers and lime zest and a crisp, tapering finish. Beautifully balanced. 

Drinking window: 2015-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, White, Riesling
92

2013 G.D. Vajra, Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont

( £12, 5.5%, Liberty Wines )

How many wines make you want to start dancing? I love the perfumed frivolity of this wine. Sweet, frothy and perfumed, it’s a wonderful expression of the Moscato grape. The alcohol is low, the flavours are fresh and aromatic. What’s not to like? Try it with a bowl of strawberries. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, White, Muscat à Petits Grains
95

2010 G.D. Vajra Luigi Baudana, Baudana, Barolo, Piedmont

( TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

The Luigi Baudana wines come entirely from Serralunga d’Alba, widely considered the best village in the Barolo region. This is more closed and concentrated than the sweeter, riper 2009, but has finer tannins, too, and the classic chalky undertone of eastern Barolo. It’s a serious, even sligthly backward wine with excellent structure and ageing potential. Give this wine time. 

BuyDrinking window: 2018-30Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nebbiolo
94

2010 G.D. Vajra Ravera, Barolo, Piedmont

( TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

More structured than the Bricco delle Viole, this comes from a 2.2 hectare, south- and south-east facing vineyard and is a first release. It’s got a bloody, almost iron-like note on the palate, firmish but well integrated tannins and minerally freshness. The tannins need food (preferably a lump of protein) to take away their edge. One to tuck away.

BuyDrinking window: 2018-32Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nebbiolo
96

2010 G.D. Vajra, Bricco delle Viole, Barolo, Piedmont

( TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines )

So appealing now that you are almost tempted to pull the cork, but give this superlative Barolo some time. Old vines, marl soils, a top vintage and brilliant winemaking all combine beautifully here. Elegant, minerally and poised, this has a red fruits sweetness that is almost reminiscent of Pinot Noir, but with a firmer backbone of acidity and tannin. Fine, silky and very long. 

BuyDrinking window: 2017-30Similar Wines: £30-£50, 96-100, Italy, Red, Nebbiolo
93

2013 G.D. Vajra, Coste & Fossati, Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont

( £18, 13.5%, Wine Liberty )

Made from a “proprietary selection of red-stalked clones”, the estate’s top Dolcetto hails from a single vineyard in Vergne. Rich in colour and more concentrated that the straight Dolcetto d’Alba, it’s worth the extra money. Plush and aromatic, with sweet plum and damson fruit, soft tannins and a sweet, lingering finish. Dolcetto doesn’t get much better than this. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, Red