Red

2014 G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo Claret J.C.

Nebbiolo

  • Italy
  • Piedmont
  • Langhe
  • Langhe DOC

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Community Tasting Note

  • Davetroup Likes this wine: 88 points

    March 24, 2016 - Pale violet hue and a somewhat hot nose. The flavor is pretty classic Nebbiolo but I was very surprised when I took my first sip and found the wine was slightly but unmistakably carbonated. Not sure if the bottle was corked or refermented in the bottle but this is not generally a desirable characteristic.

    I did still enjoy the wine, surprisingly, and so I'm going to rate it rather than just marking it corked, but I will report again when I open another bottle if the experience is different. I imagine that without the added carbon dioxide this might rate more highly.

    1,656 views

7 Comments

  • ex-sommelier commented:

    3/24/16, 11:00 PM - This wine is an experiment in the semi-frizzante style of nebbiolo popular pre-20th century so it is supposed to be lightly carbonated. I do remember reading it also was made lightly sweet back then too, but that GD Vajra had opted to make a dry fizzy version.

  • Davetroup commented:

    3/24/16, 11:56 PM - Oh that's interesting, thank you. I did some online searching and found no other mention of that, is this something new they're trying for 2014?

    I don't mind it actually, I'm having s second glass and it's growing on me. I might even take my rating up a point or two. I don't know that I'd want to drink a slightly carbonated wine every day, but it gives it a slightly refreshing quality that is different. At worst, interesting; and perhaps even enjoyable.

    Appreciate the education.

  • scott w commented:

    3/25/16, 11:20 AM - Yes Rory is correct, it's an ode to what Thomas Jefferson commented on when he was in Italy. Although I wish they made it on the sweet side. Bubbles without any sweetness is hard for my brain to process :)

  • Davetroup commented:

    3/25/16, 12:52 PM - Thanks, Scott. I think my brain was confused for a bit too, but I ended up liking it. I've had plenty of sweeter fizzy things, but this was something new, and it's growing on me. Adds a refreshing character that I wouldn't normally associate with dry red wine.

  • scott w commented:

    3/25/16, 1:01 PM - Good to hear thanks! can't wait to receive them.

  • Wineteacher commented:

    3/30/16, 7:27 AM - Thomas Jefferson toured the region in the late 1780's while serving as minister to France. He commented on the Nebbiolo grape. This is a recreation of the wine that Thomas Jefferson may have tasted. At that time the concept of a DOCG of Barolo of course did not exist. This wine although made in the Barolo region is not entitled to the Barolo DOCG because of the experimental style it is made. This explains why the Barolo term is absent from the label. The fizz is not a flaw but it is part of the intention of this historical look-back.

  • Wineteacher commented:

    4/3/16, 7:48 AM - Here is a little more. Thomas Jefferson in his writings specifically mentioned his experience of tasting the Nebbiolo wine in 1787 in Piedmont Italy. It may be interesting to compare what he wrote about his experience and compare it to our experience tasting this recreation of how a Nebbiolo from around Barolo may have tasted over two hundred years ago. This is what Jefferson wrote: "There is a red wine of Nebiule made in this neighborhood which is very singular. It is about as sweet as the silky Madeira, as astringent on the palate as Bordeaux, and as brisky as Champagne. It is a pleasing wine". As wine commentators often still do today, "sweet" doesn't always mean sweetness from sugar but rather a sense of sweetness from a combination of pleasing factors like roundness, fruitiness and pleasing balance. I would not necessarily take Jefferson's comment about sweetness to mean residual sugar. His spelling of Nebbiolo is not what we use today but that is par for the course when reading writings from that period even for English words.

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