Sunday, March 28, 2010

DoBianchi On Vajra, and Two Long Lost Friends

Synchronicity implies accident, so on this occasion we'll just have to settle for mutual admiration and timely agreement...

I've known for a while now that my friend Dr. Jeremy Parzen, scribe responsible for the wonderful blog Do Bianchi, availed himself of the opportunity to visit Aldo Vajra during one of his recent trips to Piemonte. I've been waiting for details of Jeremy's visit ever since and, finally, he's unleashed them, along with some terrific photos of his tasting session with Signor Vajra.

Jeremy and I seem to be on an ever coincidental path of like circumstances. He's in California now, a state from which I returned just days ago. And he's at last written about Vajra just a few days more after I had the chance to revisit – just before my trip west – two of Aldo and his son Giuseppe's wines that I hadn't had the opportunity to try since I was last in situ in Piemonte, a little over four years ago.

Sadly, neither Vajra's Langhe Bianco Riesling nor his Langhe Freisa "Kyè" have historically been available in my local markets. It was thanks to the good graces of another great friend, one that does a little shopping south of the Mason-Dixon Line, that I finally got to taste these two long lost friends.

Vajra's expression of Freisa is unlike any other Freisa I've ever tasted: totally still, dark, brooding and almost savagely tannic, yet loaded with beautiful, rustic fruit that has no problem handling the wine's deep, spicy wood-tones. The 2006 is a baby but is already oh-so delicious.

And the Langhe Bianco Riesling? When last I tasted it, over lunch with Aldo at the wonderful Ristorante Le Torri in Castiglione Falletto, the wine hadn't yet resolved its primary fruitiness and yeastiness (it was the 2004 vintage) but was nonetheless already showing its underlying intense minerality. The 2008 vintage, at roughly the same point in its evolution, is even more promising, more mouthwatering, simply brimming with white fruit and vibrant stoniness.

I found myself tempted to proclaim it the best Riesling I've tasted from anywhere outside Germany or Austria... but forget about that. It's just great Riesling, plain and simple. Jeremy would seem to agree. Don't miss his observations.


TWG said...

Both available at State Line

David McDuff said...

Exactly where they came from if I'm not mistaken, Tom -- south of the good old Mason-Dixon.

TWG said...

And west.

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