Hello friends. This is an offer I’ve been trying to send out for almost three years now. From the first time the Vajra lineup returned to the Seattle market back in 2013, I’ve been tasting their varietal wines, loving them, and yearning to write about them. But the quantities just never worked. If Dolcetto and Nebbiolo were in stock, Barbera was sold out. Then Barbera would arrive, and there would be like 16 bottles of Dolcetto remaining. Maddening!
But just last week, the stars finally aligned. I tasted all three varieties, all three from the 2013 vintage, and all three with enough inventory in Seattle to justify an offer. This was not today’s originally-scheduled offer, but it gets to butt in line because, were we to miss this window, it might be another three years before we have another chance.
And while we’re at it, I’m going to use this opportunity to also offer two other rarities from the Vajra lineup: one an unabashedly delicious Moscato, the other their flagship Barolo that just earned a great review in Wine Spectator Insider.
So yeah, that’s five Vajra wines total. Because we’re including so many wines, I will endeavor to keep the descriptions (relatively) short. As usual, we have strong pricing on these since we have a partner who direct-imports them into Seattle. And while longtime list members might remember Galloni’s quotes about Vajra, I’ll re-paste them for the newbies or the forgetful. From 2011: [TEXT WITHHELD].
Let’s dive in.
2013 G.D. Vajra Dolcetto dâ€™Alba
Glorious grapey Dolcetto. Such an easy charmer. Such a slam dunk Friday night pizza wine. I love the smoky/tarry mineral streaks here, the violet pastille notes, the way this transcends Docletto’s reputation as a bit of a simpleton. It’s juicy to be sure (13% listed alc), but has some heft and weight as well. There isn’t even a hint of oak here; this is all palate-staining fruit and mineral. Aldo Vajra’s quote about Dolcetto is brilliant: [TEXT WITHHELD]
Wine Spectator (Bruce Sanderson): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90pts.”
2013 G.D. Vajra Barbera dâ€™Alba
Beautiful Barbera from the grape’s ancestral homeland. A perfect Barbera nose of sour cherry and blood orange and a little menthol gives way to a truly succulent palate. This is an evocative wine, with lights-out fruit intensity. It practically glows. 13.5% listed alc, and wonderfully balanced. Barbera is full of natural acidity, which makes it a beautiful food wine. Here that acid is complemented perfectly by the rich cherry plummy fruit. This is one hell of a lasagna wine.
This is like Vajra’s baby Barolo. Here is Giuseppe Vajra:[TEXT WITHHELD]. Vajra’s LangheNeb comes from the winery’s younger vineyard plantings, including some in Barolo proper. It offers classic leafy Nebbiolo aromas: somewhere between a cup of tea and a leaf-covered trail through the woods in autumn. Roses and red berries too. Seductive to be sure. The palate is earthy, structured, completely different from fruit-driven Dolcetto and Barbera. It’s a wonderfully rustic wine, grippy and toothsome and crying out for roasted meat. This would be exquisite with duck, I think.
Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 90pts.”
We originally offered this last November. Here’s what we said then: I find a good Moscato to be such a pleasure-soaked indulgence, and Vajra’s version is very very good. At just 5.5% listed alc, you can treat it like a beer and drink it right from the bottle. Okay, or from a glass. Or flute or tumbler or whatever you like. The expressiveness of the nose beggars belief, all citrus and flower garden, with grapefruit and lime paired to honeysuckle and jasmine and rose. The palate pairs delicious sweetness to tooth-tingling acidity, a fine bubbly mousse, and an unabashed Italian sense of bitters. The grapefruit-pith bitters are exactly the foil needed for all that sugar, and it keeps this from ever moving into cloying territory. A beautiful way to begin or end a night. (And sneaky good with a cheesy-eggs breakfast).
2011 G.D. Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole
This is Vajra’s flagship Barolo. The 2010 (offered last August) has been enormously popular among our list members. That vintage, though, is going to take years to come around, whereas this 2011 is a total immediate gratification play, offering wonderful generosity that is truly unusual for young Barolo. And I’m going to stop there, because the remaining parcel in Seattle is tiny, and the screaming review in the Jan 27 Wine Spectator Insider is going to put serious sales pressure on what remains: Wine Spectator (Bruce Sanderson): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”
This review from Galloni has also been kicking around since 2014: Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
Please order what you like, with no upper limit on order requests, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in the next week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.