Hello friends. An admission. I spent way, way, waaaaay too much of my collegiate life playing video games. It was, without question, not the most productive use of my limited four years (and absurd tuition dollars) at Harvard. I should have been, you know, like meeting girls, or developing an app like Facebook, or, I dunno, studying? But yeah, no, I played a bunch of video games.
One enormous time suck was a role-playing game called Final Fantasy VII. (Now some of you [dorks!] are slowly nodding your heads, and the rest of you are wondering what the hell this has to do with wine. Getting there.) And the thing was, it wasn’t just enough for me to go through and play the main plot of the game. I got totally seduced by a series of mini-games, the craziest of which involved Chocobo racing.
Now a Chocobo is basically a giant racing ostrich. It looks like this. Different color Chocobos have different speeds and skill sets, and to secure better and better Chocobos, you needed to engage in an extensive breeding program. I’m not joking. The entire mini-quest probably took twenty un-reclaimable hours of my shining youth. All to secure the mythical golden Chocobo, which allowed me to reach an otherwise unreachable place that contained material that allowed me to summon this group called Knights Of The Round that wreaked havoc on any enemy who dared to cross my path. I realize that last sentence sounds like the ramblings of a madman. Trust me that it all made perfect sense at the time.
Anyhow, I got to thinking about Chocobo breeding and racing lately because the wine trade can be a little like Chocobo racing. You start small; you gain experience; you work your way up the ladder. To wit: G.D. Vajra. We began with the Langhe Rosso. Lovely little yellow Chocobo (okay, maybe green). Our list supported the hell out of that one, and we ascended to their Barolo Albe, which is probably a black Chocobo. (Man, these were difficult. You needed to mate blue and green Chocobos along with a carob or sahara nut. Don’t ask.). And then our list threw great support to the entry-level Barolo Albe, and now, more than two years after our first Vajra write-up, we’ve been offered their gold Chocobo:
Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 96+pts.”
This is Vajra’s flagship Barolo, from a truly exquisite Italian vintage (Galloni again: The late-bottled 2010 Barolos confirm first impressions – 2010 is one of the all-time great vintages for Italy’s most noble red… The 2010s are vibrant, finely sculpted Barolos built on power and intensity.), and we have it at a fine price compared to the $82 release tag. Because of our list’s long support for the winery, we were offered the entire remaining parcel in Seattle, and I pounced. It’s a goldilocks parcel, just the right size for what I expect our demand to be.
That demand is going to include a few members of Team Full Pull too. Pat and I didn’t even say anything after first sampling this wine. We both just sort of shook our heads and laughed. It’s exquisitely good. Certainly the finest Barolo I’ve tasted so far in 2015, and really the finest I’ve tasted in recent memory. I know Galloni begins his drinking window in 2018, but you won’t be disappointed if you cheat and open a bottle early. The nose is already very much in place: big tarry streaks, rose petals, cherry and red plum fruit, smoky earth, spicy leafy tobacco notes: it’s a complex marvel. The palate is richly fruited (14.5% listed alc), delightfully approachable for a ’10 Barolo. It’s supple, polished, classy, evocative; everything we can hope for in high end Barolo.
Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.