This month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday theme is Wines of Piedmont, Italy and is hosted by David McDuff and his excellent blog, McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail. This is a great theme as there are really a great variety of interesting wines, some very well known and some not so well known, available from this north-west region of Italy. Just a quick perusal of my wine book Wines of the World (Eyewitness Companions) which is handily arranged by country and region leads me to consider some of my options: Barolo and Barbaresco (Nebbiolo), Barbera, Dolcetto, Gavi (Cortese), Moscato (still and sparkling), Arnies, Asti (sparkling), to name a few of the well-known offerings.
I chose for this assignment an affordable ($11.99) wine from producer G.D. Vajra, the 2007 Langhe Rosso, Langhe D.O.C. appellation, purchased from Groton Market. Groton Market has a relatively rich selection of Italian wines from small producers as they work with New England importer Adonna Imports, as do a number of fine wine stores in the Boston area.
This is the newest vintage of this blended red wine from G.D. Vajra. Each vintage represents an entirely different blend of grapes from the vineyards under the pervue of this producer in different areas, and as such has to be labeled Langhe D.O.C. It was difficult for me to find out exactly what is in this wine as the G.D. Vajra web site is quite… larval. I found a reference to this 2007 vintage on the website of Cambridge, MA gourmet food & wine store Formaggio Kitchen, here. This blend according to this writeup is composed of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, Freisa and Merlot (not sure of percentages). There is a nice writeup of G.D. Vajra in a web site devoted to producers of Barolo, here. This is an great writeup of the 2006 vintage of this Rosso and other wines on… McDuff’s Food & Wine Trail (hi, David!), here. This is apparently a great Piedmont producer.
I don’t have a lot of experience drinking wines from Piedmont. A few weeks ago I did enjoy a Nebbiolo varietal wine from producer Vietti quite a bit. This Rosso from G.D. Vajra has some Nebbiolo so I expect to detect the famous ‘tar and roses’ from that varietal. Tasting notes – color is a lovely mid-raspberry, would make a fantastic lipstick color. Body is light-medium. On the nose are wafts of woodiness, perfume and sour cherry and… roses? The mouthfeel is pleasantly sour-acidic mouthfilling while maintaining some roundness. The finish is good and reminds of red licorice. I do like it quite a bit. It is light and somewhat refined and would probably go with a variety of foods as is not too alcoholic (13.5% ABV). Not a powerhouse, but well-made. So, this is a great WBW theme. We could probably have a Piedmont WBW every month and be able to post about different great wines for years if we were so inclined!
UPDATE March 21, 2014
Anna from G.D. Vajra has helpfully pointed me to their new beautiful web site and the fact sheet for this wine which lists the grape varieties blended into this wine: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, Albarossa, Freisa, and Pinot Noir.