Piedmontese winemakers have a secret North American wine enthusiasts should know about.
Even though Piedmont’s red wine reputation was acquired by Barolo and Barbaresco wines, everyone in the region drinks dolcetto regularly.
Unique to Piedmont, dolcetto yields juicy, quaffable, early-drinking and easy-to-enjoy wines, to go with a wide range of dishes from risotto to game stews and everything in between.
Dolcetto wines are light, less tannic, less alcoholic, with lively acidity that can be compared to Beaujolais or everyday zinfandels from California.
The most impressive characteristics of a fine docletto are aromas and taste of black berries, raspberries, and palate cleansing acidity.
Dolcetto ripens two to three weeks earlier than nebbiolo, therefore cooler sites were selected for this grape, resulting in pleasantly acid-driven wines.
Historically there are seven Dolcetto appellations:
Dolcetto di Dogliani
Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba
Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi
The secret of producing fine dolcetto is to keep yields low, and handle the harvest expertly for winemakers, and for consumers to enjoy it within one or two years after vintage.
Some winemakers are now aging dolcetto in barriques; this makes it tannic and age worthy but ordinary wines cannot tolerate such treatment.
Dolcetto represents excellent value in the North American marketplace because so far it lacks a profile and advertising campaign.
The best producers are:
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
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