Monday, August 26, 2013

New arrivals of G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d'Alba 2011 and Barolo Chinato . . .

The 2011 Dolcetto d'Alba from G.D. Vajra is in stock and tasting great.  From a really warm vintage, even though the stated alcohol is 12.5%, I would definitely say that this wine punches like it is heavier.  That ripeness of the vintage I don't feel in the mouth as much as in the nose, where the wine is unusually spicy, almost like it had seen some oak, but as I know this isn't the case, extremely exotic.  Clove and licorice seed come to mind.  But of course the wine retains that great acidity and sweet fruit of Dolcetto.

The new Barolo Chinato from G.D. Vajra is also in stock and if you haven't ever had a great Barolo Chinato, this is it.  Fashioned in homage to the Capellano Barolo Chinato, great friends of The Vajra's, this Barolo Chinato is a stripped down version, made from only 16 different herbs and spices using the Barolo Albe in any given vintage as the base.  The label depicts the herbs and spices in the wine.  Of course, the most prominent of the botanicals is quinine bark (which is "china" in Italian and, hence, the source of the drink’s name, Chinato).  Quinine is a natural anti-malarial compound and has been used for centuries to protect against that disease.  Quinine is the tonic in tonic water, just FYI.

For our purposes, the G.D. Vajra Barolo Chinato is a perfect digestivo to calm the stomach after a big meal and it is also most widely used as the amaro in cocktails.  My favorite cocktails using the G.D. Vajra is still one whipped up by Erik Adkins of Heaven's Dog  a few years ago.  Or you can add it to any Negroni recipe to make it extra spicy.

The Italian Fog

2 oz Millers Gin
1/2 oz G.D. Vajra Barolo Chinato
1/2 oz Apricot eau de Vie
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup

served shaken, not stirred

The Barolo Chinato can be ordered by the bottle and it comes in 750 ml.



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