Browse Tag



Vajra 2005 Dolcetto d’Alba “coste & fossati” (Piedmont) – This is the one wine in the Vajra portfolio that I just can’t quite figure out, and yet I keep buying bottles expecting some sort of revelation that never quite arrives. Dark fruit, chewy and structured, with a brace of acids and a long tail of razored feathers. A little lacking in the midpalate. Good, but not (at least for me) one of Vajra’s more joyful efforts. (9/10)


Vajra 2008 Langhe Bianco (Piedmont) – No surprise, I suppose, that one of the most terroir-evocative grapes (in this case, riesling) shows something in equal parts unexpected and familiar in the soils of the Langhe. The familiar structure of crisp acid and steel-pole texture is there, with a little more generosity and openness, but there’s also a soft, almost mushroomy earth quality, and a slowly-rolling stew of clarified fruit chugging alongside. Really, really nice. (8/10)

A rosso is a rosso

Vajra 2006 Langhe Rosso (Piedmont) – Very pretty. Crushed, partially dried old roses, dark and a little dusty, but still pure. Soft earth. Gorgeous texture. And all for an absurdly low price. Hard to beat, really. (5/10)

My heart’s on fire, el Vajra

[vineyard]Vajra 2008 Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont) – No mistaking what this is. But in addition to the usual flower shop/perfume truck accident, there’s weight, and texture beyond the fizz, and even some smoothly polished minerality. It’s not heavy (nor is it my brother), but it’s more interesting than most within the genre. (1/10)


Vajra Barolo Chinato (Piedmont) – There’s way too much volatile acidity here, and despite my attempts it remains impenetrable. The less sensitive might do better. (6/09)

Langhe than any bird ever flew

Vajra 2006 Langhe Rosso (Piedmont) – Fuzzy and a bit fusty, with the soft particulate texture one might expect, but brooding in the darkness of a troubled adolescence more than usual. Vintage effect? Bad bottle? There’s usually more appeal here. (2/09)

Billy coste

Vajra 2005 Dolcetto d’Alba “coste & fossati” (Piedmont) – Tastes natural, and you may interpret that however you’d like; I’m not interested in defending the concept. But there’s freshly-harvested red fruit, acidity, a light but insistent buzz of sandpapery tannin, and some friendly, well-trodden earth, all wrapped up – neatly but not too prettily – in an old wooden crate aged by many decades in the sun. Nice wine. (12/08)

Vajra phage

[vineyards]Vajra 2006 Langhe Rosso (Piedmont) – The aromatics are a mixture of elegantly floral and fruit-sprightly, hued dark-purple, with a bite of fine acidity and a very appealing nature, especially with food. An absurdly good value. (7/08)

Vajra infection

Vajra 2004 Barbera d’Alba (Piedmont) – Gorgeous, with far more mature aromatics of autumn leaves and freshly-baked fruit pies than the age of the wine would indicate. Structurally, it’s quite youthful, perfectly melding precise acidity and impeccably placed fruit and tannin, and based on the palate it should go a number of years. The question, however, becomes: is the wait worth it when it tastes this good now? (5/08)

Vajra infection

Vajra 2006 Langhe Rosso (Piedmont) – Simple and beautiful, which is not someone one can often say about nebbiolo (which usually requires complexity to achieve beauty), and one of the best bargain bottlings of this sometimes difficult grape. It’s floral and suggests, more than actually delivers, a passel of red berries, with a light chomp of tannin and a firm, spinal acidity. A party wine for wine geeks, though it does even better with food. (12/07)

  • 1
  • 2