Kent’s Pick: 2015 G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso, $14.99

The G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso is an excellent value from a great winery in Italy's Piedmont region. The winery bottled its first vintage in 1978 and continues to work with all the major grapes (Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, and a few others) from the region of Piedmont. The Langhe Rosso is mainly a blend of those three grapes, with small amounts of Freisa, Albarossa, and Pinot Noir added. The 2015 vintage saw slightly warmer temperatures than normal in the Piedmont region, thus producing more fruit forward, approachable wines.  The Nebbiolo grape is a thicker skinned variety, and produces some of the most age worthy wines in the world, due to its high tannins (Barolo and Barbarescos). That grape, being only one piece of the puzzle here, still gives the wine great tannic structure, but not so much that it will pull the enamel off your teeth! The Barbera and Dolcetto help to round out the wine with dark fruit and balanced acidity. The nose shows that dark fruit and spice with a light floral lift. On the palate, the wine is very well balanced with great acidity supporting the rich fruit, spice and a little tobacco. This is a great food wine and will pair well with pastas and red meats.