TN: 2014 G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe

Overwhelming nose of menthol and eucalyptus, palate very thin and acidic. This wine has pretty good reviews, I was surprised how bad this was. Would a spoiled Barolo give off this kind of profile?

More likely the vintage, which featured badly timed rains and hail. Some people did well, others less so. And Albe is their entry-level Barolo.

Don’t know how much experience you have with young Barolo, but it is generally very tannic young, which accentuates the acid.

Agreed,rough vintage. The producer is usually pretty solid and they need the bottle time. I’m a fan of their Bricco delle Viole. Oldest I have is 08, trying to avoid even looking at them for another five years.

Edit: Thinking about it more, spotty would be a better term for the vintage, hits and misses. There were some winners.

Does anyone have any experience with the 2014 G.D. Vajra Langhe Freisa Kye? I have one and I assume the subpar vintage and the notes above would make it somewhat similar.

It is a vintage thing. If you enjoy the ripe fruits of '13, 15 and '16 then 2014 may be a little confronting. It is certainly leaner with less fruit and more florals and herbal notes. I had a 2014 Elvio Cogno Barolo Ravera last week that I thought was terrific but I could see how some people would think it lacks a bit of mid-palate flesh.

my guess is you may have better luck with it since Freisa would be harvested at a different time than Nebbiolo, and Barolo just had bad timing with rains. even Barbaresco by harvesting a couple weeks different had a much better vintage. (good enough for Riserva Produttori at least!)

I just drank one of these a few weeks ago. It did seem thin and a bit lifeless. I could tell there was balance but no soul, if that makes sense. It did not give me the impression that age would be kind to this vintage of this bottling.

Not a bad bottle though, about what I expect from entry level in a spotty year. I’d drink again but sooner rather than later.

Vintage issue for some (many?) parts of Barolo.

Had a 2016 Albe last week. Obviously very young but showing well. An absolute steal for $30.



The 2011 Albe is great for the price. Had my last of 3 on Tuesday.


I found it ok on day 1, and much better on day 2.

Actually, the fall weather was mostly decent. It was the summer that was awful in 2014 in Barolo— extended stretches of rain and three hail storms. Barolo had three times the rainfall of Barbaresco. The dampness and hail led to disease issues, and then fruit flies attacked the fruit.

Galloni published a good, though gruesome, summary of the weather that year:

I completely agree. Liked it on day one but much better the next day. Paid under $20 with discounts so tremendous value there.

Perhaps my expectations were low from memory of having read this thread, but I rather liked the 2014. Just a quality wine for my taste–which ranges from Loire Franc to California Syrah. What I especially liked was the relative elegance and depth, it was vey much a young Nebbiolo without being punishing to drink.

2014 G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (12/26/2020)
Certainly an earlier drinking Barolo, but not overtly modern in fruit and oak character. Strawberry, licorice, herbs, and a savory quality that is hard to pin down. Concentrated in flavor, dark fruit and savory tones intermingle, beautifully structured with elegant, albeit copious, tannins. Long finish.

Drink with a solid decant or hold.

This is right up my alley–I’ve known of the producer and cuvee for years, yet am just trying it now. If this is the quality level in a tough vintage, this definitely needs to be in the regular rotation. (90 pts.)