MCF Rare Wine
Vajra's Langhe Riesling is the White You Didn't Know You Absolutely Needed...
Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of being invited to the La Festa del Barolo Gala Dinner by Giuseppe Vajra and his American Sales Manager, Kevin.
This is the dinner where every producer in attendance hosts a table where attendees get to interact with the producer and each other, but also bring a bottle (or five) of their own to share. I won't call it a display of one-upmanship, but most everyone there is there to bring out the big guns...
...and at my table, there were plenty of big guns. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I won't list what I had the pleasure of sampling...but it was quite a damned list, to say the least. All in, there were dozens of old Barolo and Barbaresco, some dating as far back as the '40s, and I'm sincerely thankful for it all.
It really was amazing, and I was lucky to be there. I emphasize this because I don't want what I'm about to say to sound like I'm one of those cynical 'expensive wine's not that good' guys.
Of all of the amazing, legendary wines I had the pleasure of enjoying, I can say quite honestly that the most surprising wine I tasted all night was the very first one...a bottle of Giuseppe's Langhe Riesling...2013.
I know that doesn't sound all that exotic, but a Riesling...from the Langhe...that has five vintages of bottle age under its belt...that, pound-for-pound, for me was maybe the wine that impressed me the most that night kinda says something.
In all honesty, I've always liked this wine. I've always found it fresh and invigorating and wonderfully balanced and aromatic...but I'd only ever had it young. Sure, I thought it would be nice with some age, but..
...this 2013, I think it's fair to say, totally surpassed my expectations.
This was a proper, deep, aromatic, savory/petrol-y glass of wine that was very identifiable as Riesling, but it was still, in some way I couldn't quite place, identifiably 'Piedmont', as well.
There wasn't the viscous texture or ripeness or...dare I say...sweetness you expect from a German pradikat wine. Nor was there the lightning bolt of focused, electric acidity you get from a 'trocken' Riesling.
It was a Riesling for sure, and a delightfully complex one at that, but there's something in the bouquet, a shape to the way it expressed itself...if you've ever had one of Walter Massa's Timorassos, that will give you a pretty good idea...but more Riesling-y.
Anyway, let's talk about this fantastic 2018. It's a fresh, vigorous wine with wonderful floral clarity, a fine sense of steely herbaceousness and zippy minerality. The refreshing, easy drinkability belies the seriousness of what we're dealing with.
I should point out, lest some of you panic at seeing 'Riesling', that this is a DRY wine, through and through...just a gorgeously flowery, fresh and versatile one.
And, as I just blabbered at length about, it will age quite nicely, should you decide to let it.
Either way, I think you owe it to yourself to sit down with some cheese/meat, a nice salad or some light, fresh pasta and a glass of this...you're going to really enjoy it...even if you're not following it up with a dozen old Barolos...
GD VAJRA Langhe Riesling 2018
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MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011