Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dolcetto and Dolcetto 2007

Winemakers tend to be a sociable lot, and if you visit a winery at (roughly) lunchtime, you may well find yourself invited to stick around for a bite, especially if it's a family-run operation. The wine will of course be from the cellar, but you shouldn't expect the flagship wine. Rather, what people dink every day, and if you're in Piemonte's Langhe (home to Barolo and Barbaresco, among others), chances are you'll be drinking Dolcetto.

Despite the name, which translates as little sweet one, Dolcetto is a dry red wine, with characteristic bitter almond and berry fruit aromas on the nose, and rich lively fruit on the palate; by comparison with many other Italian red wines, especially Barbera, it is low in acidity, and were it not for its lively tannic bitterness it would be rather flat.

But there is that bitterness, and the end result can be quite graceful in a medium bodied sort of way -- the perfect wine to complement all sorts of foods, from carne cruda all'albese, the chopped raw beef that's Piemonte's answer to steak tartare, to pasta with the drippings of a roast or a red sauce (or even agnolotti, the classic Piemontese stuffed pasta with a meat filling) through simple grilled meats or light stews. Small wonder then that Dolcetto is Piemonte's preferred vino a tutto pasto, or mealtime wine.

The Dolcetto grape is now primarily grown in a broad swath of southern Piemonte, from Dogliani, which is west of and reaches higher elevations than the Barolo production zone, through Diano and Alba, and on east though Asti, Langhe Monregalesi, Acqui, and finally Ovada, in the Alessandrino. According to Nicolas Belfrage, the grape, which he calls "characterful," originated in the Acqui-Ovada area sometime before 1800 -- it's mentioned in a permit dating to 1799 -- and spread west with time. It's also grown western Liguria, where it's called Ormeasco, and is rare.

From an administrative standpoint, Piemonte's Dolcetto can be divided into seven major appellations: Dolcetto di Dogliani, Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba, Dolcetto D'Alba, Dolcetto D'Asti, Dolcetto Langhe Monregalesi, Dolcetto D'Acqui, and Dolcetto di Ovada. There is also a new entity, Dogliani DOCG, which takes the place of the old Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore.

Though one might expect the appellations in which Dolcetto is a the primary red wine produced in the area (all except Asti and Alba) to produce the best wines because the winemakers don't have other reds to distract them, this isn't the case: Some of the finest Dolcetti are from around Alba. What one does note is a tendency to aim for greater power in some of the other appellations, especially Dogliani, which has gone so far as to rename its Dolcetto Superiore di Dogliani DOC Dogliani DOCG. I have mixed feelings about this, in part because people unfamiliar with Dolcetto appellations -- the majority, I would venture to say -- will probably not make the Dogliani-Dolcetto connection when they see wines simply labeled Dogliani, and therefore not know what they are (I have the same reservations about the Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba Appellation, which doesn't require its producers to include the word Dolcetto on their labels).

The other thing that bothers me about Dogliani is this aim for power and desire to bulk up the wines; when I visited the area a few years ago a number of producers told me that their wines had more dry extract than Barolo, that they were therefore Important Wines worthy of aging. While it's true that dry extract gives a quick-and-dirty estimate of concentration and structure, a concentrated Dolcetto is still a Dolcetto, whose hallmark (for me) is lively freshness of bouquet and sassy freshness on the palate. A Dolcetto that spends several years in bottle will loose that freshness, and, to be brutal, bring to mind a 40-year old who was beautiful in pictures taken 20 years ago, but has since sagged noticeably.

Bottom line: Dolcetto is a wine to enjoy when it's young and fresh. It will hold 3-4 years, but I would be leery of one that's much older.

And this brings us to production: Dolcetto the wine is a monovitigno, or single-vine wine made just from Dolcetto grapes; yields range some from Appellation to appellation, with Acqui setting a maximum yield of 9.5 metric tons per hectare for the base wine, to Dogliani setting a maximum of 7 tons/hectare. These are maximums, and many producers will be harvesting significantly less to increase concentration. Fermentation is generally in steel, with minimum alcohol level ranging from about 11% for base wines, and up to 13 for Superiore and Dogliani. Dolcetto base can be released in the spring/summer following the harvest, while Dolcetto Superiore and Dogliani must be held longer, until November for Dogliani and until the January following the harvest, e.g. January 2006 for a 2005 vintage wine, for many of the Superiori.

Winding down, a couple of words about the vintages presented and some quick general impressions. The vino d'annata, or vintage wine, is 2006, which was a very nice vintage, with rich bouquets and lively zesty flavors. Many of the Superiori are 2005s, which are a bit more problematic. 2005 saw quite a bit of rain, and cooler temperatures, so the grapes didn't ripen quite as well, and consequently some of the wines display less fruit, falling back upon tannic bitterness for structure.

Also, a couple of thoughts on Dogliani DOCG as opposed to Dolcetto di Dogliani and the other Dolcetti. I found the Dogliani DOCG wines taken as a group to quite alcoholic, and very dependent upon the characteristics of the vintage. Those from 2005 were concentrated but lacking in fruit and freshness, and a fellow taster said the more he swished the less he found because the alcohol covered everything up. The 2006 Dogliani DOCG was a distinct step up, with much brighter fruit coupled with more body and more acidity; I felt the wines had considerably more character than the 2005s, and also than the 2006 Dolcetto di Dogliani. However, I found in some of them a conscious effort to smooth the tannins that left the wines overbuffed, and to be frank cut them off at the knees. The bottom line is that Dogliani DOCG has yet to determine what it really is. Some is quite nice, displaying greater richness in the traditional mold of Dolcetto, while some is attempting, with considerably less success, to be Important. I obviously prefer the former.

This said, the wines, tasted the week of September 3 2007. They're divided (roughly) by appellation.

Cavallero Lorenzo
Reg. Cavallero 3
14059 Vesime
http://www.cavallerovini.it

Cavallero Lorenzo Vigneto Cardin Dolcetto D'Asti DOC 2006
Lot 7-080
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is bright, with lively red berry fruit supported by bitter almonds and moderate underbrush with a leafy tannic underpinning. With more swishing the pungency increases, and gains sulfurous overtones. On the palate it's full, and fruit driven, with slightly jammy cherry fruit that has a sweet undercurrent to it supported by moderate acidity and tannins that have a warm bitter bite to them and flow into a clean slightly greenish bitter tannic finish. It's direct, in an up-front sort of way, and will drink well with quickly grilled meats or light stews. A pity about the sulfurous pungency, because otherwise it would have been a good option if you like wines that have a slightly sweeter cast to them.
1 star

Cavallero Lorenzo Dolcetto D'Asti DOC 2006
Lot 7-027
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim and black reflections. The bouquet is rich, and quite young, with floral accents, a mixture of violets and almond blossoms, mingled with jammy plum blackberry fruit. On the palate it's bright, with lively red currant and cherry fruit with some plum accents supported by clean acidity and by tannins that have a slight greenish burr and flow into a clean bright finish that gains depth from tannic bitterness. Pleasant in a cheeky sort of way, and will drink very well with hearty meat based pasta dishes, grilled meats, or light stews, and will go quickly. Perfect for a cookout, too. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Carlotta E Rivarola
Frazione Grillano 4
15076 Ovada
http://www.carlottaerivarola.it

Carlotta e Rivarola Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2006
Lot 01D006
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fresh, in an oddly light sort of way, with a mixture of dust and floral aromas that seem somehow contrived. On the palate it's light with tart fruit supported by tannins that have a distinctly greenish feel to them, and flow into a fairly long bitter finish. It's direct, and simple, and will drink well with simple red meats.
1 star

They also make a Rosato from Dolcetto, which is labeled vino da tavola, by racking the must off the skins. It's pale salmon with pink reflections, and has a bright bouquet with lively raspberry fruit; it's quite fresh and one wouldn't necessarily guess it to be Dolcetto. On the palate it's full, smooth, and soft, with pleasant cherry laced raspberry fruit with clean red currant acidity that flows into a fairly long finish. A refreshing wine for cold cuts, hearty soups, lighter grilled meats (or fish), and picnics.
2 stars

Ghera
Frazione Battagliosi 21
15074 Molare
http://www.gheramolare.com


Ghera Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2006
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with purple cherry rim. Poured ink. The bouquet is moderately intense, with floral accents mingled with gum Arabic and some berry fruit. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderate fruit supported by considerable bitter tannins that flow into a clean bitter finish that lays a wash over the tongue. It's tannic and not as fruit driven as I'd have liked, and though there isn't sulfur per se it is a bit pungent. Drink it with simple meats or light stews.
1 star

Ghera Albareto Dolcetto D'Ovada Superiore DOC 2005
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly bright, with red berry fruit and alcohol mingled with some greenish spicy accents and some underbrush that's not quite pungent but definitely damp leaves. On the palate it's full, with ample fairly bitter fruit supported by moderate acidity and tannins that have an oaky bitterness to them that brings (again) wet leaves to mind. If you like this rather rustic style it shows polish, but you have to like this style, in which fruit is giving way to tertiary aromas and flavors. It will drink well with red meats.
2 stars


Montobbio
Via Lavagello 29A
15060 Castelletto D'Orba
http://www.altomonferrato.com

Montobbio Beneficio Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2005
Lot DO206
Deep cherry ruby with cherry rim and black reflections. The bouquet is oddly chemical, with a mixture of tartness and spice that brings shoe polish to mind. On the palate it's bitter, with moderate fruit supported by considerable bitterness that flows into a clean bitter finish.
1 star

Tacchino Luigi
Via M. Benedicta 26
15060 Castelletto D'Orba
http://www.luigitacchino.it

Tacchino Luigi Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2006
Lot 72/07
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with cherry fruit supported by some bitter almond accents and slightly greenish leafy notes, with underlying berry fruit jam. On the palate it's bright, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by bitter accents and tannins that flow into a clean bitter finish. It's pleasant, and will drink well with foods, ranging from hearty pasta dishes through quickly cooked grilled meats or light stews. A nice day-to-day wine that you will likely want a second bottle of. Worth seeking out.
84

Tacchino Luigi Du Riva Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2004
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is somewhat medicinal, with vinous notes mingling with iodine and some eucalyptus, while there's moderate plum fruit with slight jammy overtones. On the palate it's fairly bright, with sour berry fruit supported by bitter accents and tannins that have a greenish burr and flow into a clean bitter finish. It's pleasant enough though a tad aged; the nose isn't as fresh as I'd have wanted, and the palate will, I fear, follow fairly soon. In other words, a wine to drink now, with succulent grilled meats or light stews.
1 star


Terre Da Vino
Via Bergesia 6
12060 Barolo
http://www.terredavino.it

Terre Da Vino La Gaggina Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2006
Pigeon blood ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fairly bright, with tart red berry fruit supported by slight vegetal accents and some leafy underbrush, with savory bitterness as well. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderate berry fruit supported by clean bitter tannins that flow into a bitter finish. I'd have liked more depth to the fruit, which comes across as a bit flat. It will in any case drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Terre Da Vino Roccabella Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense and a bit metallic at first swish, with dusty overtones; more swishing brings up very ripe plum fruit with some pungent overtones. Not as clean as it might be, a fellow taster smells wine marks. On the palate it's bright, with fairly rich decidedly sour fruit that one wouldn't have expected from the nose, supported by fairly smooth tannins that flow into a clean sour finish. It's brash and direct, and will drink well with fattier meats of the grill, or also with fried meats and vegetables because of its acidity.
1 star

La Guardia
Podere La Guardia 74
15010 Morsasco
Tel 0144 73076

La Guardia Il Gamondino Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2005
Lot 7-183
Pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and deep cherry rim. The bouquet is pungent, with wet leafy underbrush and earthy aromas mingled with some savory accents and peppery spice. On the palate it's medium bodied, with clean slightly bitter berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and bitter tannins that flow into a clean bitter finish. It's pleasant, but not as bright as I might have liked, especially in the nose, where the earthier elements predominate over fruit and floral accents.
1 star.

Castello di Tagliolo
Via Castello 1
15070 Tagliolo
http://www.castelloditagliolo.com

Castello di Tagliolo La Peira Dolcetto D'Ovada DOC 2004
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, and vinous, with some iodine and underbrush; there's not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, and again vinous, with moderate fruit and considerable iodine laced bitterness supported and drawing from bitter tannins that leave a wash over the tongue that flows into a savory finish. It's past its prime and is sliding down.
1 star

Castello di Tagliolo Dolcetto di Ovada DOC 2001
Deep ruby. The bouquet is penetrating, with underbrush and a fair amount of alcohol and some cedar; it's nicely balanced in a clearly mature way. On the palate it's quite rich, with pleasant fruit supported by lively acidity and a considerable volume of greenish tannins that flow into a clean slightly bitter finish. It's clearly much older than one would expect a Dolcetto to be, but has held up very well and it is nice, though something of an enological curiosity; if you like a rather earthy mature style it is quite nice, and eye-opening proof of Dolcetto's ability to age when from a good vintage and properly stored. But you do have to like the style.
88-90

Antica Vineria Cà Dei Mandorli
Via IV Novembre 15
14040 Castel Rocchero
http://www.cadeimandorli.com

Antica Vineria Cà Dei Mandorli Il Ruyà Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Lively cherry ruby with pinkish cherry rim and black reflections. The bouquet is bright, and young, with some floral accents supported by tart berry fruit and slightly chalky peppery spice. On the palate it's ample and smooth with moderate berry fruit supported by smooth bitter tannins, while there is a little acidity to provide direction, but not much. It's direct, and unassuming, and though I'd have liked a little more fruit it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews, and will also be nice with hearty pasta dishes or legume based soups.
1 star

They also make a Vino Spumante Brut Rosato, which is a Brachetto fermented to dryness, and is labeled as a Vino da Tavola. It's pale salmon in color and has an intriguing bouquet with bright raspberry fruit supported by raspberry acidity and an impression of sweetness. Pleasant. On the palate it's dry, but not too dry, with bright raspberry fruit that gains direction from acidity and greenish notes, while fullness comes from the sparkle too. Pleasant, and will be quite nice as an aperitif or with creamy dishes. Curious about the wine? It's a return to the past of sorts: They used to make a Brachetto Rosé, and decided to add bubbles to it. The result is quite drinkable.
2 stars

Botto Pierluigi
Via San Rocco 23
15010 Ricaldone
Tel: 0144 744 62

Botto Pierluigi Convento Cappuccini Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Lot D6D07
Deep black cherry ruby with almandine rim. The bouquet is surprisingly mature, with warm rather wet balsamic cedar notes -- a fellow taster says spoilt raw meat -- supported by greenish accents. On the palate it's medium bodied, with slightly brighter than expected sour berry fruit that gains direction from sour cherry acidity and is supported by bitter tannins; the palate doesn't completely follow the nose, but feels compressed somehow, and the balsamic notes reemerge in the finish.
1 star

Botto Pierluigi Convento Cappuccini Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2005
Lot D6D06
Slightly almandine ruby with black reflections and pink rim. The bouquet is bitter, with greenish accents and some bitterness mingled with slight tart fruit. On the palate it's bright, with moderately intense sour plum fruit supported by sour acidity and bright tannins that have butter accents and flow into a clean bitter finish with decidedly tannic underpinning. It will drink well with flavorful stews or even fried meats, and is pleasant in a rustically aggressive key, though not as fresh as it would have been a year ago. If you like smoother wines it's not for you, but if you like this style it's something to consider.
2 stars

Cascina Bertolotto
Regione Rocchetta 1
15018 Spigno Monferrato
Tel 0144 91551

Cascina Bertolotto La Cresta Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Lot 335.06
Cherry ruby with cherry rim and black reflections. The bouquet is eye opening, because it smells very much like Aleatico, a sweet red dessert wine from the Tuscan coast -- candied slightly brandied cherries with some Regina Claudia plum overtones. Unexpected for a Dolcetto. On the palate it's dry, with tannic slightly sour berry fruit that gains direction from slight sour cherry acidity, and is supported by tannins that have bitter oak leaf overtones. The overall impression is disjointed; the nose and palate go in different directions. Because of its tannic structure it will, however, drink well with fattier grilled meats.
1 star

Cascina Bertolotto La Muiette Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2005
Lot 122.07
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some bitter wet leaf accents and vegetal overtones, mingled with slight pungency. On the palate it's ample and bright, with fairly rich slightly sour plum cherry fruit supported by tannins that have considerable graphite bitterness and flow into a clean bitter finish. As is the case with many of the older wines, it's not quite as fresh as it might be, but it is pleasant in a slightly rustic key, and will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews, if you like the style.
2 stars

Cascina Il Cartino
Passeggiata Bellavista 36
15011 Acqui Terme
http://www.ilcarlino.com

Cascina Il Cartino Beatrice Rovere Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with floral accents, in particular bitter almond blossoms, mingled with fairly bright red berry fruit and some greenish vegetal overtones. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly bright cherry fruit supported by clean bitter accents that derive from the tannins, which are clean and bitter, and flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. Pleasant, in a fresh, direct sort of way, and will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews. In short, a nice cookout wine. Expect it to go quickly in the proper setting.
2 stars

Cascina Il Cartino Beatrice Rovere Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2005
Cherry ruby with pale rim. The bouquet is greenish, with some cedar accents, and savory overtones as well, but not much fruit. The Italian word that comes to mind is acerbo, which means sour, but also thin (when speaking of girls). On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly bright sour berry fruit supported barnyard tang rather greenish tannins that have savory accents, and flow into a clean greenish tannic finish. It's a touch tired, but will work well with simple meats or light stews, and because of its acidity, also with fried foods.
1 star

Contero
Regione Contero 22
15019 Strevi
http://www.conterovini.it

Contero Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is bitter, bringing to mind a pile of graphite shavings with some minerality, but not much fruit. The palate reflects the nose, with considerable almost slaty bitterness but hardly any fruit, and it flows into a tongue-warping bitter tannic finish. I would have hoped for more fruit than I found.
1 star

Marenco
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II 10
15019 Strevi
http://www.marencovino.com

Marenco Marchessa Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bitter almonds mingling with cherry and plum fruit, and supported by some savory spice. On the palate it's bright, with lively plum laced cherry fruit supported by bitter wet leaf accents and clean tannins that have a slightly vegetal burr, and flow into a clean bitter finish. Direct, up front, and will drink well with hearty pasta dishes, simple grilled meats, or light stews. A food wine that will support what it's served with rather than demanding the limelight; expect it to drink quickly in the proper setting.
2 sars

Marenco Le Anie Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is pungent, with wet leaves and savory accents mingled with some raw beef; a fellow taster says rhubarb stalks. Not much in the way of fruit or floral notes. On the palate it's ample, with moderate rather sour berry fruit supported by bitter tannins that have savory accents, and flow into a clean bitter finish. The nose isn't as rich or as fresh as I might have liked, but it will drink well with stews, and has enough tartness to work well with fried meats and vegetables too.
1 star

Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa
Via Montegrappa 6
14049 Nizza Monferrato
http://www.scarpavini.it

Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa La Selva di Moriano Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is oddly vegetal, with some bitter undertones mingled with rubber and burnt match, but not much fruit. Not inviting. On the palate, it's brighter than I might have expected, with sour berry fruit supported by greenish tannins that flow into a sour berry fruit finish. The palate it pleasant in a frankly rustic key, but the nose is not up to par.
1 star

Cascina Sant'Ubaldo
Regione Botti 26
15011 Acqui Terme
http://www.cascinasantubaldo.it

Cascina Sant'Ubaldo Dolcetto Dolcetto D'Acqui DOC 2005
Lot 0896
Black almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is rustic, with smoky cedar and warmth, mingled with animal tang, and underlying savory accents. The palate reflects the nose; it's warm and dry with savory cedar accents but not that much fruit, though there is some almost lemony acidity to it, and it flows into a warm tart slightly balsamic finish.
1 star

Cascina Besciolo
Frazione Pianelle 23
12070 Gorzegno
Tel 0173 86 038

Cascina Besciolo Le Terrazze Langhe Dolcetto DOC 2004
Lot 6171
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly sweet, with pungent flowers mingled with spice and berry fruit. It feels a bit tired. On the palate it's ample, with considerable bitterness mingled with graphite shavings, and some hints of plum fruit, but more graphite minerality, while the tannins have a bitter graphite burr to them. The overall impression is a bit rustic, and (alas) a bit tired; I'd have liked greater freshness to nose and palate than I found.
1 star

Aurelio Settimo Eredi
Frazione Annunziata 30
12064 La Morra
http://www.aureliosettimo.com

Aurelio Settimo Eredi Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Barrel Sample
Impenetrable pyrope ink. The bouquet is fairly intense, with violets mingled with bitter almonds and cherry plum fruit, and slight underbrush as well. On the palate it's medium bodied, with clean slightly bitter plum fruit supported by moderate acidity, and by tannins that have slight greenish overtones and flow into a clean bitter finish. I'd have liked a little more fullness to the fruit, which it a touch dry, but it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews, and will likely develop greater richness over the next few months in bottle.

Aurelio Settimo Eredi Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot LG06
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is earthy, with wet leaves and bitter accents born of reduction at first swish; as it airs red berry fruit emerges together with some spice, while the underbrush remains to provide a counterpoint to the fruit. On the palate it's ample, and rich, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean sweet tannins that have smoothed over considerably, while there is also acidity to hold it together and provide it direction. It's pleasant, though not as fresh as the current vintage, and therefore if you have a choice I would definitely go with the latter. This said, if you come across it alone, it is pleasant and will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Cà Viola
Borgata San Luigi 11
12063 Dogliani
http://www.caviola.com

Cà Viola Barturot Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 0702A
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with cherry plum fruit supported by bitter almond blossoms, irises, and wet leafy underbrush. Nice balance. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit; the acidity is moderate, but it all gains direction and supported from tannins that have bitter chalky accents and flow into a clean tannic finish that leaves the tongue quite dry. A pleasant food wine that will drink quite well with hearty pasta dishes or legume based soups and also do well with simple grilled meats or light stews. A second bottle will likely come in handy.
2 stars

Cà Viola Vilot Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 0701A
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with plum fruit supported by bitter almond blossoms and some graphite; the effect is harmonious. On the palate it's clean, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit nicely balanced by bitterness from the tannic structure, which also provides direction, and flows into a clean bitter finish; it's deft, though my first impression was that a little more fruit would have been nice. But it will drink well with foods, and as I sipped it I found it growing upon me.
2 stars

Cantina Gigi Rosso
Strada Alba - Barolo 46
12060 Castiglione Falletto
http://www.gigrosso.com

Cantina Gigi Rosso Rocca Giovino Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7/179
Deep pyrope ruby with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with plum cherry fruit supported by bitter accents and some plum acidity, with hints of iodine as well. On the palate it's deft, with pleasant plum cherry fruit that gains direction from a mixture of sourness and savory accents, while the tannic structure is ample and fairly smooth, and flows into a clean fruit laced savory finish. It's a pleasant food wine, of the sort that's but will drink well at table, complementing what it's served with rather than demanding the limelight. What with? Simple grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Cantina Gigi Rosso Moncolombetto Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7/154
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is a wild, stinky even, with barnyard scents, in particular rotten egg born of reduction. In short, a wine that has to be well swished, at which point the bouquet becomes more graceful, with cherry mingled with some spice and hints of underbrush and bitter almond, what one would more normally expect. On the palate it's fairly bright, with lively red berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and clean bitter tannins that lay a peppery trail over the tongue, and flow into a clean bitter finish. When properly oxygenated, it's quite pleasant, in a rather robust slightly rustic way, and will drink well with grilled meats or light stews. Expect it to go quickly, and you may want a second bottle.
2 stars

Cantina Gigi Rosso Vigna Vecchia del Pinnacolo Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7/159
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with slightly dusty cherry rim. The bouquet is a wild, stinky even, with barnyard scents, in particular rotten egg born of reduction. This at the outset; swishing well helps drive off these scents, revealing cherry fruit supported by some sour cherry acidity and greenish accents, with moderate spice with some underbrush; the overall effect is fairly bright, and also slightly rustic. On the palate it's full, and bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by brisk acidity and clean bitter tannins that have warm peppery overtones and flow into a sour cherry finish with peppery notes that's fairly long. It's a pleasing wine, when properly oxygenated, and will drink well with succulent grilled meats or light stews, and could also be pressed into service with roasted white meats.
Expect the bottle to go quickly.
2 stars

Cantina Tomaso Gianolo
Via Cuneo 50
12045 Fossano
Tel 0172 61239

Cantina Tomaso Gianolo Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 07152
Deep black cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with sour plum cherry fruit supported by bitter almond blossoms and some nose tingling spice; the overall impression is deft. On the palate it's ample, and fairly rich, with bright plum cherry fruit supported by clan tart acidity and smooth bitter tannins that have greenish accents, and flow into a clean bitter finish. Pleasant, and will drink quite well with foods, ranging from hearty soups through light stews or grilled meats. Expect it to go quickly. Worth seeking out.
2 stars


Cascina Ballarin
Frazione Annunziata 115
12064 La Morra
http://www.cascinaballarin.it

Cascina Ballarin Pilade Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up berry fruit mingled with some greenish notes; the combination brings white glue to mind. On the palate it's ample, and smooth, with cherry plum fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that gain direction from some bitter dour plum acidity, and flow into a clean slightly sour finish. The palate is more interesting than the nose, which may be developing, considering that the wine has been recently bottled. It is in any case direct, and will drink well with hearty pasta dishes or quickly grilled meats and similar.
1 star

Cascina Ballarin Bussia Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some gum Arabic mingled with savory accents, but there isn't much in the way of fruit. The palate reflects the nose, with moderate fruit and considerable bitter notes laced with some bitter accents. Doesn't grab.
1 star

Casetta F.lli
Via Castellero 5
12040 Vezza D'Alba
http://www.flli-casetta.it

Casetta F.lli Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 87.07.0
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is delicate, with floral accents and raspberry berry fruit supported by greenish overtones and some spice. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly bright berry fruit that again has vegetal accents, and gains direction from sour berry fruit acidity, while the tannic structure is tightly woven and aggressively bitter, leading into a clean astringent finish. It's up front, in a slightly rustic way, and will drink well with foods, complementing rather than hogging the limelight. What sorts? Quickly cooked meats, light stews and similar. If you like the style, it will go quickly.
2 stars

Casetta F.lli Magallo Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 83.07.2
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright berry fruit supported by brambly greenish notes and spice, with some acidity as well that helps keep it up. Nice balance and deft. On the palate it's medium bodied, with berry fruit that's not quite as rich as I would have hoped, supported by sour cherry acidity and by tannins that lay a greenish dusty trail over the tongue and flow into a clean slightly bitter finish. It's pleasant, and will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews. I wouldn't serve it with fattier fare because it isn't quite strong enough.
2 stars

Damilano
Via Roma 31
12060 Barolo
http://www.cantinedamilano.it

Damilano Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7/101
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is greenish, with moderate red berry fruit, dusty overtones, and underlying bitterness. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderate fairly indistinct red berry fruit supported by bitter overtones and some spice. I'd have liked more fruit than I found.
1 star

Dosio Vigneti
Regione Serradenari 6
12064 La Morra
http://www.dosiovigneti.com

Dosio Vigneti Serradenari Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 08.7
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is unusual, with floral accents mingled with very ripe apricot and hints sweetness; were one to taste it with one's eyes closed one would think it a white, and a fellow taster says it reminds him of a New Zealand Sauvignon. On the palate it's ample and again fairly sweet at the outset, with moderate cherry plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and tannins that have a bitter greenish burr whose intensity gains into the finish, which is frankly tannic, though apricots gradually emerge as the tannins fade. Quite odd, and it's one of those wines you will either like or not. It's not what I look for in Dolcetto.
1 star

Dosio Vigneti Nassone Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 06.06
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit reduced; with oxidization it opens, revealing fairly sweet berry fruit supported by greenish accents and spice that gain depth from bitter almond bitterness. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity and by smooth tannins that have slight greenish accents, and flow into a clean fairly bitter greenish tannic finish. It's direct, but pleasant, and will drink well with foods, in particular succulent grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Drocco Luigi
Strada Sottoripa 90
12051 Alba
http://www.vinidrocco.it

Drocco Luigi Bianca Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot DA6/100
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit odd, with overripe forest berry fruit mingled with some greenish accents, Regina Claudia plums, and dried apricots; the aromatics aren't what I expect of a Dolcetto and to be frank bring some aromatic whites to mind. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with smooth soft cherry plum fruit that again has some apricot overtones, and is supported by graphite bitterness that flows into a clean rather bitter finish. It's unusual for a Dolcetto, and a bit soft, but if you like this sort of wine it will work well with succulent red meats, including spicier dishes that would clash with a more tannic wine. It's not what one would expect of a Dolcetto, and some fellow tasters were muttering about Moscato, which I understand, though I didn't think of the descriptor.
1 star

Drocco Luigi Sorì Piani Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fresh, and a bit sweet, with ample berry fruit supported by floral accents and some vanilla that brings to mind a cake and is derived from the yeasts; it's quite clean and inviting. On the palate it's ample, with rich berry fruit supported by moderate minerality and clean bitter tannins that have oak leaf overtones and flow into a clean bitter finish. It's a very modern expression of Dolcetto, especially the bouquet, and quite pleasant too; it will drink well with a wide variety of foods, and you may find yourself wanting a second bottle.
2 stars

Drocco Luigi Nera - Ponteietra Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot DA5/04
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is rich, with bright cherry fruit that gains direction from slightly greenish acidity, and though this is quick to write, it's also quite inviting. On the palate it's full, with rather bitter berry fruit that's not quite as bright a I expected -- there's acidity but not that much supported by ample tannins that get their direction from bitter overtones that flow into a clean bitter finish. The palate isn't quite as interesting as the nose, but it's pleasant in a fairly direct key and will drink nicely with simple foods. In short, a nice day to day wine.
2 stars

Elvio Cogno
Via Ravera 2
12060 Novello
http://www.elviocogno.com

Elvio Cogno Vigna del Mandorlo Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 76DAD1
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit mingled with hints of hardwood ash and savory accents, also some fresh sage. On the palate it's rich, with clean slightly sour berry fruit supported by deft bitter tannins and sufficient acidity to keep it from flagging, flowing all into a clean slightly bitter berry fruit finish. Pleasant, and graceful; it will drink very well with foods, especially grilled meats or light stews, and also has the wherewithal to stand up to simple succulent roasts. A second bottle will come in handy. Well worth seeking out.
2 stars

Fontanafredda
Via Alba 15
12050 Serralunga D'Alba
http://www.fontanafredda.it

Fontanafredda Treiso Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 0709301
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and ruby rim. The bouquet is a bit tarter than I might have expected, with hints of spice mingled with red berry fruit and some greenish accents. On the palate it's bright, with clean red berry fruit supported by tart slightly greenish acidity and by tannins that have clean greenish accents. It's quite direct, and will drink well with simple meats, including, because of its tartness, fried foods. It will also work well at a cookout, and in the proper setting will go quite quickly.
2 stars

Fontanafredda La Lepre Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 0714301
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim; it looks like poured ink. The bouquet is fairly rich, with berry fruit supported by some sweetness (selected yeasts can give this) and slight mentholated accents, while there is also some bitter almond. On the palate it's ample, with fairly bright slightly sour cherry blackberry fruit supported by moderate acidity and clean slightly splintery oak leaf tannins that flow into a clean tannic finish with savory accents. It's pleasant, and will drink quite well with succulent grilled meats or light stews, and also has the wherewithal to stand up to lighter roasts, though I might hesitate before game.
2 stars

Giribaldi Mario
Località della Fontana
12050 Rodello
http://www.vinigiribaldi.it

Giribaldi Mario Vigna Campo del Pero Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with brambly greenish berry fruit supported by some acidity and bitter accents, and also some underbrush. On the palate it's clean and bright, with lively cherry fruit supported by brisk cherry acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have slight greenish bitter accents and flow into a warm tart finish that continues at length. It's graceful, in a rather willowy key, and will be quite nice at a cookout or with simple, quickly cooked meats and vegetables. Expect the bottle to go quickly in the proper setting, and you may want a second bottle.
2 stars.

Livi Fontana
Via Pugnane 12
12060 Castiglione Falletto
http://www.liviafontana.it

Livia Fontana Livia Fontana Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot O6010
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black cherry rim and black reflections. The bouquet is a bit wild, with balsamic notes and animal tang mingled with warmth and alcohol, but not much fruit. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by tannins that have burnt cork warmth to them, and flow into a clean bitter tannic finish. It's rustic in style, but well made, and if you like this style you will like it; it will drink well with succulent grilled meats or stews, and also has the wherewithal to work with fried meats and vegetables.
2 stars

Mossio F.lli
Via Montà 12
12050 Rodello
http://www.mossio.com

Mossio F.lli Bricco Caramelli Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 02/07
Impenetrable pyrope with black cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry fruit supported by slight bitter almond and savory accents. On the palate it's ample and fairly sweet, with moderately intense dusky plum fruit that gains direction from some acidity, and is supported by clean bitter tannins with greenish accents that flow into a bitter finish. The overall impression is fairly direct, and I'd have liked greater depth and elegance than I found. In terms of accompaniments, fattier grilled meats will work nicely with the bitterness of the tannins.
1 star

Mossio F.lli Bricco Caramelli Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 02/06
Deep black cherry ruby with back reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is understated, with slight plum fruit mingled with moderate greenish spice; further swishing doesn't bring forth as much as one might have hoped. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense red berry fruit that gains direction from sour cherry acidity and is supported by clean sweet tannins that have a slight greenish burr and flow into a clean bitter finish. It's pleasant enough but feels a bit tired; it still has enough energy to drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews, but I would drink it now.
1 star

Mossio F.lli Bricco Caramelli Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2004
Lot 01/05
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some red berry fruit mingled with slight spice. Quite clean, in any case. On the palate it's ample, with bright red berry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and clean slightly bitter tannins that flow into a clean tart tannic finish. It's obviously not young, but has life to it and will contribute to a meal built around grilled meats or a light stew. A pity about the nose's having faded, because if it were richer it would be perfect.
1 star

P.A.Viti.M
Località S. Anna 115
12065 Monforte D'Alba
Tel 0173 78624

P.A. Viti M. Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fresh, with slightly greenish cherry plum fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and bitter almonds. Zesty. On the palate it's full, with fairly bright berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by ample bitter tannins that lay a warm oak-leaf wash over the tongue and flow into a clean, savory, decidedly bitter finish. A pleasant food wine that will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

P.A. Viti M. Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is muted; swishing brings up plum fruit mingled with some underbrush, hints of hot iron, and slight greenish spice that rises up to tingle the nose. On the palate it's ample, with brighter cherry plum fruit than I might have expected, supported by plum acidity and moderately intense slightly greenish tannins that flow into a clean sour plum finish. Oddly enough, the tannic structure is almost too smooth for a Dolcetto. The fruit is also fairly overripe, and this makes it smoother and softer than one might expect a Dolcetto to be. This said, if you like the style it will drink well with drier meats.
1 star

Penna Luigi & Figli
Frazione San Rocco Seno D'Elvio 96
12051 Alba
http://www.pennaluigi-figli.it

Penna Luigi e Figli Bricco Galante Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot DBG 15
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and lively ruby rim. The bouquet is bright, with some violets and a fair amount of bitter almond supported by red berry fruit and some spice. Nice balance, and invigorating. On the palate it's medium bodied, with a bit less fruit than I might have expected; the body is mostly mineral, with oak leaf bitterness as well that continues into a fairly quick finish. It's direct, and quite simple, a wine to set out and drink with the meal. Pity that there isn't a little more fruit to give it added richness.
1 star

Penna Luigi e Figli Galante Dolcetto D'Alba Superiore DOC 2005
Lot DGS 04
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with slightly greenish notes mingled with some spice and slight mineral acidity; there's not much fruit. On the palate it's full and soft, with fairly sweet plum fruit that's more intense than I expected, supported by moderate sour plum acidity and by tannins that are ample and soft, and it all flows into a soft plum finish that gains definition from plum acidity. It's a big soft wine, and as such is really not what I expect from a Dolcetto; this said, because of its softness it will work well with drier meats. If you like the style you will enjoy it, but you have to like big soft wines.
1 star

Ramello Gianni
Via Vassalli 12/A
12064 La Morra
Tel 0173 220421

Ramello Gianni Pisote Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 3/07
Impenetrable pyrope ink. One would expect a heady bouquet given the color, but it is instead oddly muted, with hints of white glue that gradually open to reveal rather feeble red berry fruit with bitter overtones that gain in intensity with time. The palate is a bit richer, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by some mineral acidity, and by ample tannins that have a distinctly greenish bitter burr to them and flow into a greenish tannic finish. It plods in an angry way, rather than step gracefully, and because of the tannins will drink best with fattier foods or rich stews that profit from a wine that clears the palate between bites. A fellow taster finds high acetic acid.
1 star

Ramello Gianno Pisote Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2004
Lot 2/05
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is ripe, with cherry plum fruit supported by some greenish accents and underbrush. On the palate it's fairly direct, with tart, slightly medicinal berry fruit that also has mineral accents supported by bright green tannins with bitter overtones that flow into a clean tannic finish. It's a bit past its prime.
1 star

Rinaldi Pietro
Frazione Madonna di Como 86
12051 Alba
http://www.pietrorinaldi.com

Rinaldi Pietro Madonna di Como Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot DA 01
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with bright cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is moderately rich, in a slightly medicinal key, with red berry fruit mingled with iodine and some bitter accents, and underlying berry fruit jam. Gives an impression of warmth. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderately rich mineral-laced red berry fruit supported by clean bitter tannins that flow into a clean bitter finish. It's not a wine that will stand out at a tasting, but it will drink nicely with foods, ranging from pasta dishes through lesser grilled meats and light stews.
2 stars

Rinaldi Pietro Madonna di Como Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot DA 01
Impenetrable black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright red berry fruit supported by greenish accents and some spice. It's fairly direct, but nicely balanced, in a more mature way than a 2006 might be. On the palate it's ample, with bright red berry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and by ample sweet tannins that do have a slight burr to them, and flow into a clean bitter berry fruit finish. It's big, and direct, and will drink nicely with succulent grilled meats or similar hearty fare.
2 stars

Rivetto Dal 1902
Località Lirano 2
12050 Sinio
http://www.rivetto.it

Rivetto dal 1902 Frach Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 07/65
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with bright cherry and forest berry fruit supported by underbrush and bitter accents, with some sea salt as well. Pleasant. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bright slightly sour cherry plum fruit supported by clean sour plum acidity and by tannins that have some bitter oak leaf overtones, and flow into a clean fairly bitter finish. Graceful, and will drink quite well with foods, in particular grilled meats or light stews, though one could press it into service with meaty pasta dishes or risotti as well. Well worth seeking out.
2 stars

Rivetto dal 1902 Ercolino Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 07/213
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with dark cherry rim. The bouquet is fresh, with considerable cherry fruit supported by some forest berry fruit overtones, bitter almond blossoms, slight savory accents, and some underbrush that gains in intensity with time. On the palate it's bright, with rich slightly tart cherry plum fruit that has slight sweet t, and is supported by tannins that lay a peppery burr over the tongue and flow into a clean slightly bitter fairly sweet peppery finish. The sweetness is a bit unusual, and is something you will either like or not; if you do, the wine will drink well with succulent grilled meats, including spicier fare of the sort you might make at a cookout. In short, particular.
1 star

Rizzi
Via Rizzi 15
12050 Treiso
http://www.cantinarizzi.it

Rizzi Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 07-DA06
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with underbrush and some savory accents supported by slight almond blossoms, and underlying graphite shaving minerality, but not much fruit. The palate reflects the nose; it's medium bodied, with moderate rather sour cherry fruit that feels dilute, supported by tannins that have a splintery oak leaf burr and separate from the fruit, going their own way, while the finish is fairly bitter with some peppery spice. It's disjointed, though the peppery accents will work well with fattier meats off the grill or light stews.
1 star

Rizzi Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 06DA05/01
Deep almandine ruby with black reflections and lam rim. The bouquet is quite ripe, with cherry plum fruit supported by some greenish spice. No floral accents, however. On the palate it's ample and soft, with cherry plum fruit supported by moderately intense acidity and by clean sett tannins that flow into a fairly long tart finish. It's a bit soft, and the tannins aren't as biting as I hope they might be in a Dolcetto; they are present but smooth things along rather than provide more direct guidance. Because of the overall softness and size of the wine it won't work so well with simple grilled meats and other light dishes as it might with drier roasts and such.
1 star

Rossotto
Via Piloni Sorba 16
12050 Montelupo Albese
http://www.destefanis.com

Rossotto Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 213/07
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry and blackberry fruit supported by bitter almond blossoms and some spice, with underlying greenish vegetal accents and sea salt. Quite a bit going on. On the palate it's a bit lighter than I might have expected from the nose, with fairly bright sour cherry fruit supported by mineral accents and tannins that are fairly light, with oak leaf bitterness, and flow into a clean fairly bitter sour cherry finish. It's not a wine that will stand out at a tasting, but it will drink quite well with hearty legume-based soups, pasta dishes, or simple grilled meats. In short a good wine for a cookout, and in the proper setting it will go very fast.
2 stars

Rossotto Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit wild, with balsamic acidity and warmth with slight greenish accents, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, and again balsamic, with warm balsamic acidity more than fruit and fairly smooth soft tannins that have a slight greenish burr to them and flow into a clean slightly bitter tannic finish. It's pleasant in a decidedly rustic key, and if you like the style -- those who prefer smoother, more polished wines will be unimpressed or pour it out -- you will like the wine. But you have to like the style; if you do with will work well with succulent grilled meats, including fattier cuts such as lamb chops.
1 star

Sebaste
Via San Pietro 4
12060 Barolo
http://www.syllasebaste.com

Sebaste Monrobolio di Bussia Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 0207
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and pungent, with bitter almonds mingling with underbrush and some red berry fruit, though not too much, and there's not much acidity either. It feels a bit heavy. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly intense cherry plum fruit supported by bitter accents more than by acidity, combined with fairly smooth slightly bitter tannins, and it flows into a clean bitter finish. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's a bit stolid, giving the impression of being firmly anchored to the ground. I'd have liked more grace.
1 star

Tenuta Lagnasco
Frazione Como 10
12051 Alba
http://www.tenutalagnasco.it

Tenuta Langasco Madonna Como Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fairly bright, with red berry fruit supported by greenish accents and some bitter almond blossoms. Pleasant, and inviting. On the palate it's fairly full, with bright berry fruit supported and to a degree overshadowed by peppery tannic oak leaf bitterness that flows into an angry peppery finish. This is not a wine to sip by the glass, but because of its aggressive peppery accents it will work well with succulent to fatty foods, and be perfect with, say, a well seasoned grilled chicken with its skin on. In short, it's a wine that demands the proper setting, and when given it, will shine.
2 stars

Tenuta Lagnasco Vigna Miclet Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with some India ink and sea salt, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderate fruit supported by dusty tannins. It's overlarge for its structure, and the fruit really doesn't fill it at all well.
1 star

Tenuta Rocca
Località Ornati 19
12065 Monforte D'Alba
http://www.tenutarocca.com

Tenuta Rocca Vigna Sorì Rocca Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 3/07
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is, well, stinky, with wet stable muck that's quite pronounced, and some iodine and sea salt; if one concentrates hard there's also some red berry fruit. In short, it's not clean, and as such presents a set of aromas that were much more common in the past, when wine making was more empirical and cellar technique less exacting, than they are today. On the palate it's full, with rather languid red berry fruit supported by a mixture of sour berry fruit acidity and angry peppery tannins that flow into a peppery fruit laced finish with underlying bitterness. If you like this sort of rustic wine you will enjoy it, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Tenute Cisa Asinari Dei Marchesi Di Gresy
Località Mrtinenga 21
12050 Barbaresco
http://www.marchesidigresy.com

Tenute Cisa Asinari Dei Marchesi Di Gresy Monte Aribaldo Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 0407
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, with lively slightly sour cherry ftt hat has mentholated and bitter almond overtones, and gains depth from bitter accents that add a refreshing coolness. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright jammy berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by clean slightly greenish tannins that flow into a clean bitter finish. Graceful, and will drink very well with foods, especially grilled meats and light stews, though one could also press it into service with roasted white meats. Well worth seeking out.
2 stars

Tenute Cisa Asinari Dei Marchesi di Gresy Monte Aribaldo Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 0506
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry plum fruit laced with some iodine and metallic overtones, and there is also some underbrush. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fill cherry plum fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and moderate acidity; in some ways it brings an overstuffed cushion to mind. I'd have liked greater depth and tightness, but were hey here it would be a different wine than it is.
1 star

Tenute Cisa Asinari Dei Marchesi di Gresy Monte Aribaldo Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2004
Lot 0805
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with iodine and spice mingling with some warmth, but not much fruit and no floral accents. On the palate it's considerably richer, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a warm spicy burr and flow into a clean bitter berry fruit finish. It's past its prime, but the palate still has stories to tell, and will do a nice job of accompanying succulent grilled meats or light stews. A pity that the nose has faded; were it fresher it would be quite nice.
1 star

Voerzio Gianni
Strada Loreto 1
12064 La Morra
Tel 0173 509 194

Voerzio Gianni Rocchettevino Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 10207
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is delicate, and rich, with beautiful floral accents laced with spice and red berry fruit, with some underlying chemical odors, that, were they stronger, would bring bandaids to mind, but at this intensity add depth. On the palate it's medium bodied and bright, with lively sour cherry and blackberry fruit supported that gains direction from deft sour berry fruit acidity, and is supported by clean greenish bitter tannins that flow into a clean rather bitter finish. Graceful, in a tannic key, and is one of those wines that you'll be drinking happily at a meal, thinking how good everything is, and suddenly realize how much the wine is contributing. In terms of accompaniments, it's versatile, and will work well with meat or vegetable-based first course dishes, simple grilled meats, and light stews.
2 stars

A Note: Taken as a group, the wines from Diano D'Alba tend to have richer bouquets than most other Dolcetti.

Accomo F.lli
Via Sinaglio 5
12055 Diano D'Alba
http://www.poderesinaglio.it

Accomo F.lli Sorì Bric Maiolica Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot DD 01/06
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is a bit dusty, with milky accents and hints of shellac as well. Not much fruit. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich bitter cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and tannins that are ample and lay an angry bitter wash over the tongue that flows into a decidedly bitter finish. I'd have liked more depth to the fruit than I found, and also more grace. It glowers.
1 star

Accomo F.lli Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot DD 01/06
Deep pigeon blood ruby with slightly cloudy cherry rim. The bouquet is pungent, with wet leafy underbrush mingled with red berry fruit and some fairly bright berry fruit acidity, also bitter accents. On the palate it's bright, with fairly lively red berry fruit supported by moderate sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are slightly greenish and lay a bitter oak leaf trail over the tongue as they flow into a fairly bitter finish. It's pleasant in a fairly direct, up front key, and is a classic food wine that will complement what it's served with -- grilled meats and light stews, but also fried meats and vegetables --without hogging the limelight. Expect the bottle to go quickly.
2 stars

Accomo F.lli Sorì Bric Maiolica Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot DD 02/05
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some berry fruit supported by slight underbrush and sea salt. As it opens it gains in intensity. On the palate it's ample, and fairly bright, with clean sour cherry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and by tannins that have a clean oak leaf bitterness to them, and flow into a warm tart tannic finish. It's pleasant, though a bit on in years, and if I had a bottle I would drink it now, with succulent grilled meats or something else cooked out of doors.
2 stars

Alario Claudio
Via Santa Croce 23
12055 Diano D'Alba
Tel 0173 231 808

Alario Claudio Costa Fiore Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 27/08/07
Pretty label. The wine is impenetrable pyrope ruby with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is eye-opening; it's quite intense and also quite medicinal, with a mixture of berry fruit and quinine that brings a Barolo chinato (an old-style cordial made by flavoring Barolo with sugar, quinine, and spices; it can be very good, but is an after dinner drink) to mind. On the palate it's full and dusty, with fairly rich sour berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and ample bitter tannins that again have quinine bitter notes and flow into a tannic finish. Unusual.
1 star

Alario Claudio Pradurent Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba Superiore DOC 2006
Lot 27/08/07
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black cherry rim. Poured ink. The bouquet is intense, and intensely aromatic, with cherry fruit supported by spices that bring quinine or tonic water to mind, and are decidedly unusual in a Dolcetto, coupled with hints of marzipan. On the palate it's ample and soft, with fairly sweet cherry fruit supported by clean greenish tannins, while the acidity is relatively minor. It's unusual for a Dolcetto both because of its size and because of the aromas; if you like this sort of exotic registry, you may find it interesting but it is atypical. Because of its relative sweetness it will work well with succulent, spicier fare, for example barbecued meats. But you have to like the style.
1 star

Boffa F.lli
Via Cortemilia 142
12055 Diano D'Alba
Tel 0173 612055

Boffa F.lli Sorì Pariso Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with leafy underbrush mingled with berry fruit, which gains in intensity with swishing, and bitter almond overtones; there are also hints of wet bark. It's not as fresh as I'd expect a 2006 wine to be now, but does display pleasing balance. On the palate it's bright, with lively sour cherry fruit that gains direction from moderate acidity and savory accents, while the support is from clean bitter tannins that flow into a clean tannic finish. It's light on its feet, and as it winds down frankly tannic, and because of its tannins will drink well with succulent grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Boffa F.lli Sorì Pariso Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 4/06
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, with powerful greenish accents mingled with some berry fruit and balsamic spice. On the palate it's ample, with bright cherry fruit that gains direction from sour cherry acidity and is supported by decidedly greenish tannins that flow into a warm greenish balsamic finish. It's quite lively, and will drink well with succulent grilled meats or roasts, though you have to like this fairly aggressive, rustic style. In short, a wine that is either-or, and takes no quarter.
2 stars

Bricco Maiolica
Via Bolagnino 7
12055 Diano D'Alba

Bricco Maiolica Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7090
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is greenish, and penetrating, with moderate berry fruit and some bitter almond accents. It brings to mind someone glowering. On the palate it's fairly rich, with moderate fruit and considerable bitterness that flows into a bitter finish. In short, the palate follows the nose.
1 star

Cantina della Porta Rossa
Piazza Trento Trieste 5
12055 Diano D'Alba
http://www.langheweb.com/portarossa

Cantina Della Porta Rossa Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 060607
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with sour berry fruit mingled with greenish accents and some wet leather. Nice balance, though it's not quite as fresh as I might have liked. On the palate it's medium bodied and graceful, with bright berry fruit supported by lively acidity and by fairly smooth tannins that do have a greenish burr, and flow into a clean slightly vegetal finish. It's quite direct, and unassuming, but will drink very well with foods, especially simple grilled meats, and as such it would be a nice wine for a cookout. In the proper setting it will go quickly and you may want a second bottle.
2 stars

Cantina della Porta Rossa Sorì Piadvenza Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 120207
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and rather green, with medicinal and balsamic notes as well On the palate it's brighter than one might have expected from the nose, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry acidity and by ample sweet tannins that flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish that's quite long. It has a pleasing feel too it, though it is also obviously past its peak; the tannins have begun to fold in over much, and the nose is settling, and in doing so shedding some of the fresh elements that make Dolcetto the pleasant quaffing wine it is at its best. Should you happen upon a bottle, it will drink nicely now with grilled meats or light roasts, though I wouldn't hold it for any length of time.
1 star

Coluè
Via San Sebastiano 1
12055 Diano D'Alba
http://www.colue.it

Coluè S.S. Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 03/07
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is fairly rich, with spice and red berry fruit mingled with bitter almond accents and some sour berry fruit acidity. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright tart berry fruit that gains direction from sour cherry acidity, and is supported by greenish tannins with bitter accents; the combination of acidity and tannins makes it seem a little thin. It's fairly direct, and will drink well with foods, especially fattier grilled meats or fried meats. In short, a good bet for a cookout.
1 star

Coluè Sorba Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 10/06
Deep pyrope with black reflections and deep cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry plum fruit laced with spice and supported by some underbrush and greenish accents. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly rich plum fruit that gains definition from moderate plum acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that do have slight greenish accents, and flow into a clean rich decidedly greenish tannic finish. It's pleasant, and well made, but also shows its age; most wine lovers who decide to buy a Dolcetto will want a wine quicker on its feet than this is at its current stage of evolution. This said, it will drink nicely with a roast or stew, but you have to like somewhat older and more staid wines.
1 star

Coluè Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2005
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, and greenish, with some balsamic notes and underbrush as well, but not much fruit and no floral accents. In short, mature Dolcetto. On the palate it's ample and fairly rich, with clean bright berry fruit supported by sour cherry plum acidity, and by tannins that have warm savory accents and flow into a clean savory finish. It does display a certain grace, in a mature key, and I cannot help but wonder what it was like a year or two ago. This said, it will drink nicely with grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Ferdinando Giordano
Via Cane Guido 47Bis/50
12055 Diano D'Alba
http://www.giordano-vini.com

Ferdinando Giordano Costafiore Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 603707
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit overripe, with jammy plum fruit supported by some underbrush and quite a bit of gum Arabic. On the palate it's ample and very soft, with dull sweetish plum fruit that gains direction from moderate plum acidity, and is supported by ample tannins that are as well polished as a banister people slide down. The effect is a bit disconcerting considering that one of Dolcetto's hallmarks is tannins that have a bite to them, but if you like big soft smooth overripe wines you will enjoy it. Drink it with drier meats that will benefit from its richness.
1 star

Le Cecche
Via Moglia Gerlotto 10
12055 Diano D'Alba
http://www.lececche.com

Le Cecche Sorì Le Cecche Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot S807
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with dusky cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, but lacking in fruit; there's quite a bit of alcohol, and some cedar, with underbrush as well. On the palate it's full, with bright cherry plum fruit one wouldn't have expected from the nose, supported by moderate plum acidity and tannins that are quite smooth, and flow into a clean slightly greenish finish. It's quite polished, but I'd have liked more continuity between nose and palate and greater freshness; the alcohol overshadows everything else.
1 star

Le Cecche Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot D807
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, and fairly sweet, with cherry and red currant fruit supported by underbrush and some greenish bitter almond accents; the effect is actually rather voluptuous. On the palate it's full, with rich red berry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity, and by tannins that are tightly woven, and have greenish bitter accents that flow into a clean tannic savory finish. It's a pleasant food wine and will drink well with all sorts of things, from pasta dishes and risotti through light stews. In short, versatile.
2 stars

Prandi Giovanni
Via Farinetti 5
12055 Diano D'Alba
Tel 0173 69 248

Prandi Giovanni Sorì Cristina Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7CR01
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is overripe, with plum fruit supported by some medicinal accents and hints of hot iron. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderate red berry fruit supported by dusty tannins and frankly moderate acidity; it brings to mind a hot air balloon that has sagged.
1 star

Prandi Giovanni Sorì Colombe Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7CO01
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted; swishing brings up slight berry fruit supported by some underbrush and hints of bitter almond. I'd have hoped for more intensity. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderate savory berry fruit supported by savory tannins with some greenish accents that flow into a slightly green finish. It is settled, and doesn't have the brightness nor the vitality I might have hoped for.
1 star

Savigliano F.lli
Via Cane Guido 20
12055 Diano D'Alba
http://www.saviglianovini.it

Savigliano F.lli Sorì Del Sot Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7068
Impenetrable purple ruby with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, and rather green, with berry fruit mingled with distinctly vegetal accents and some spice. On the palate it's ample, and bright, with cherry plum fruit that gains direction from moderate mineral plum acidity, and is supported by tannins that have a warm greenish bitter burr and flow into a bitter finish. It's direct, and I'd have liked a little more freshness, especially in the nose, but will drink well with simple foods.
1 star

Savigliano F.lli Sorì Autin Grand Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7130
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is delicate, with rather sweet berry fruit supported by violets and slight almond blossoms, with hints of underbrush that provide depth. On the palate it's ample, smooth, and soft, with ample cherry plum fruit that gains direction from some acidity, and is supported by smooth soft tannins that do have a peppery tang, especially in the finish. It's a big wine, and to be frank I'd have liked it a bit tighter; it is instead opulent but in a loose sort of way. If you like big soft wines, however, you will enjoy it, because it does have a certain verve and the spiciness of the tannins does keep it on its toes; it will drink well with drier roasts along the lines of roast beef cooked medium, or white meats.
2 stars

Savigliano F.lli Vigneto Autin Gross Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 7068
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black cherry rim. The has very ripe berry plum fruit and a fair amount of alcohol mingled with some greenish accents; the overall effect is, however, muted. On the palate it's full and fairly sweet, with bright plum fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins and some greenish accents that flow into a clean plum finish with underlying peppery spice from tannins. It's bigger and softer than I would expect a Dolcetto to be, and because of its softness will drink best with drier meats, be they well done or white. It feels like it's trying too hard to be a Wine, rather than a wine.
1 star

Veglio Michelino & Figlio
Via Bertinetti 6
12050 Diano D'Alba
http://www.vegliomichelinoefiglio.com

Veglio Michelino & Figlio Sorì dei Bertinetti Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 661
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up plum fruit with underbrush and greenish bitterness that give an impression of softness. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by brighter plum acidity than I expected, and by ample smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish. It's surprisingly big and surprisingly soft for a Dolcetto, too soft to make it a good bet with grilled meats or similar, though it does have some acidity o keep it on its toes. I would drink it with drier roasts.
1 star

Veglio Michelino e Figlio Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2006
Lot 738
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with some red berry fruit supported by bitter almonds and vegetal accents. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderate fruit supported by tannins that are dry and have a fairly intense burr. It's lax, and I'd have liked greater richness overtones the fruit, which is pulling back to allow the tannic structure to carry the show.
1 star

Cantina Terre del Barolo
Via Alba-Barolo 5
12060 Castiglione Falletto
http://www.terredelbarolo.com

Cantina Terre del Barolo Vigneti Castello Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 6251
Lively cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly bright, with cherry fruit supported by greenish accents and spice mingled with some spice and slight acidity. On the palate it's ample, with bright cherry fruit supported by clean slightly greenish acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have slight greenish accents and flow into a clean mildly bitter tannic finish. The overall impression is fairly graceful, and it will drink well with succulent grilled meats or light stews, providing support without demanding too much attention from the diners or the meal. In short, a nice food wine.
2 stars

Cantina Terre del Barolo Vigneto Cascinotto Dolcetto di Diano D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 6321
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and mature, with smoky notes and some iodine mingled with sea salt, but not much fruit. On the palate it's full and soft, with moderately intense plum fruit that gains direction more from bitter notes than from acidity, and is supported by ample tannins that have a tired feel to them. It is, frankly, past its prime, and though it hasn't really fallen into decadence yet it should be drunk now, with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

La Cà
Località Ravinali 25
12060 Roddi
http://www.lacadiorlandi.com

La Cà Biasin Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot DA0601
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with berry fruit supported by a mixture of hardwood ash and underbrush, with some hints of shellac as well. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by ample tannins that, despite considerable softness, lay a tongue-curling greenish veneer over the palate and flow into a bitter finish. It's charged, and also overly smooth for my tastes; it feels like the varietal has had its teeth pulled.
1 star

Marengo Diego - Cà Brusà
Località Manzoni 25
12065 Monforte D'Alba
http://www.cabrusa.com

Marengo Diego Cà Brusa Vai Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 04.06
Deep black cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately rich, with slight berry fruit supported by some pungent accents and some greenish spice. It comes across as flat, and I found myself wanting greater richness than it displays. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by sour plum acidity and ample smooth sweet tannins that do have a greenish burr in the finish. It's big, and a bit soft, and I found myself wanting more tightness than it displayed. Because of its relative softness it will work best with drier meats, for example a roast beef cooked medium, or roasted white meats with gravy.
1 star

Marengo Diego - Cà Brusa Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2004
Lot 03.05
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with some underbrush that gains in intensity with swishing, displaying greenish accents and some balsamic underpinning, together with hints of barnyard tang. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderate plum fruit that's supported by moderate acidity and by splintery tannins; truth be told it's more the other elements than the fruit that carry the show, and it flows into a dry tannic finish with balsamic overtones. Dolcetto can be all sorts of things, but this feels tired.
1 star

Negretti
Frazione Santa Maria - Località Peso 33
12064 La Morra
http://www.negrettivini.com

Negretti Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2005
Lot 213/06
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with some raw beef mingled with balsamic notes and spice, but not much fruit. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with brighter cherry fruit than I expected supported by clean sour cherry acidity, and by ample tannins that start out smooth, but lay a greenish veneer over the tongue that leads into a long fairly bright greenish tannic finish with bitter overtones. As is the case with some other 2005 wines, it displays pleasing grace, but has gone as far as it will; it will contribute nicely to a simple meal now, but isn't a wine to age.
2 stars

Negretti Dolcetto D'Alba DOC 2004
Lot 186/05
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some medicinal notes and iodine, mingled with hints of sea salt. On the palate it's full, and soft, with ample cherry plum fruit supported by surprisingly intense sour cherry acidity and by clean sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long clean cherry finish that gains depth from tart underpinning. It's more interesting on the palate than the nose, and actually rather graceful, though it also brings to mind Heinlein's comment about artists, and how the best can render an old woman so one can see her beauty in youth. This would have been quite nice in 2005, and though I as a fanatical wine lover still find it nice now, most wine drinkers would want more on the nose.
1 star

Cascina Monsignore
Via San Giovanni 22
12080 Vicoforte
http://www.cascinamonsignore.com

Cascina Monsignore Podere del Monsignore Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi DOC 2006
Lot 01-06
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, and vinous, with pitter accents and some nose-tingling acidity. Not much fruit. On the palate it's medium bodied with moderate rather generic berry fruit supported by some sour cherry acidity and moderately intense tannins. It's a bit flat, and I'd have liked more expression from both nose and palate.
1 star

Cascina Monsignore Vigna del Vescovo Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi DOC 2006
Lot 02-06
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is closed, with moderate red berry fruit supported by some alcohol and moderate spice; as it opens bitter accents emerge, while the fruit becomes more intense, resolving into tart berries. No floral accents. On the palate it's medium bodied, with brisk slightly sour cherry and forest berry fruit supported by tannins that have a bitter greenish burr and flow into a clean bitter tannic finish. It's quite direct, but I found it growing upon me, and it will drink well with grilled meats or light stews, and also has the verve necessary to work with fried meats and vegetables. In short, it's versatile, and a food wine.
2 stars

Il Colombo
Via dei Sent 2
12084 Mondovì
http://www.ilcolombo.com

Il Colombo La Chiesetta Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi DOC 2006
Lot 0107
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is closed on the outset, though swishing brings up berry fruit and acidity with some nose tingling spice, also ground black pepper. No floral accents, however. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly intense sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a greenish burr and flow into a moderately long tannic finish with some bitter almond notes that add depth. It's direct, and will drink well with the foods it's served with, without trying to attract attention to itself. In short, a wine to set out and drink.
1 star

Il Colombo Il Colombo Dolcetto delle Langhe Monregalesi Superiore DOC 2005
Lot 0207
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is slightly metallic, with moderate red berry fruit. On the palate it's medium bodied with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by some, but not too many slightly greenish tannins that flow into a tart finish. It's a bit lean, but because of its acidity will drink well with fattier dishes, including fried meats and vegetables.
1 star

Abbona Anna Maria
Frazione Moncucco 21
12060 Farigliano
http://www.annabbona.com

Abbona Anna Maria Sorì Dij But Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 0705
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim, almost poured ink. The bouquet is fairly intense, with violets and some bitter accents mingling with moderate fruit and some jammy tartness. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderate fruit supported by bitter accents and sour acidity, while the tannins are smoother than I would have expected in a young Dolcetto, and flow into a clean bitter finish. Its direct, and I'd have liked more richness on both nose and palate than I found. It will drink well with simple grilled meats and such.
1 star

Abbona Anna Maria San Bernardo Dogliani DOCG 2005
Lot 0708
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. Poured ink. The bouquet is fairly rich and a bit overripe, with plum fruit supported by dusky graphite shavings and some underbrush, also some spice. On the palate it's ample, and fairly sweet, with plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean plum laced finish. I'd have liked more depth, though there is considerable alcohol (which is one of the reasons for the sweetness) it doesn't have much verve and comes across as a bit too soft, at least for me. Because of this softness it will drink well with drier meats.
1 star

Abbona Marziano
Borgata San Luigi 40
12063 Dogliani
http://www.abbona.com

Abbona Marziano San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 07/067
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black cherry rim. The bouquet is initially a bit wild, with pronounced underbrush and some tart animal accents, but as it oxygenates it opens some, revealing also red berry fruit with jammy plum accents. But not much floral. On the palate it's medium bodied with moderate frankly generic fruit that gains direction from sour plum acidity and is supported by ample tannins that are smoother than I might have expected from a young Dolcetto, and flow into a clean bitter finish with some warm savory balsamic accents, while the tannins do reveal a slight bite. I hate to say this because I have liked the wine in the past, but I found it lacking in grace and flat this time.
1 star

Abbona Marziano Papà Celso Dogliani DOCG 2005
Lot 06/278
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents and alcohol mingled with some red berry fruit and underlying spice. On the palate it's ample, soft, and smooth, with moderate plum fruit that gains slight direction from moderate acidity, while the alcohol makes it seem fairly sweet. I'd have liked more verve than it displays; it's flat.
1 star

Boschis Francesco
Frazione Pianezzo 57
12063 Dogliani
http://www.marcdegrazia.com

Boschis Francesco Pianezzo Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 7162
Impenetrable pyrope ink. The bouquet is closed, with moderate plum berry fruit but not much else. On the palate it's medium bodied, with generic plum cherry fruit supported by moderately intense sour cherry acidity and by tannins that have a slight greenish burr to them and flow into a clean bitter fairly astringent finish. It's quite direct, and though it will drink well with simple red meats or light stews, supporting rather than hogging the limelight, I would have liked more depth and incisiveness.
1 star

Boschis Francesco Vigna del Prey Dogliani DOCG 2006
Lot 7220
Impenetrable pyrope; it's poured ink one could write with. The bouquet is intense, with bitter accents and cherry plum fruit supported by some hardwood ash and delicate spice; there's also a fair amount of alcohol present. On the palate it's full and rich, with powerful cherry plum fruit supported by clean plum acidity and by tannins that are clean and astringent with bitter almond overtones that flow into a clean fairly bitter finish that gains depth from sour plum acidity. Pleasant, in a rather charged key, and will drink well with succulent grilled meats, including fattier cuts such as leg of lamb, and will also do nicely with stews or roasts.
2 stars

Boschis Francesco Sorì San Martino Dogliani DOCG 2006
Lot 7221
Impenetrable pyrope ruby -- poured ink. The bouquet is a bit reduced at the outset; as it oxygenates fairly rich red berry fruit emerges, supported by greenish accent and some sweetness, with alcohol as well. On the palate it's ample and smooth with fairly bright cherry fruit that gains direction from sour cherry acidity, and is supported by tannins that are smooth on the outset, but also have greenish bitter accents that emerge towards the finish, with is fairly long and fairly tart. It's pleasant in a fairly rich key, and will drink well with succulent red meats or light stews. But I would decant the bottle.
2 stars

Bricco del Cucú
Località Bricco 10
12060 Nastia M.
http://www.langhe.net/briccocucu

Bricco del Cucú Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with red berry fruit supported by some underbrush, hints of plum jam, and slight gum Arabic. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich red berry fruit supported by clean sour cherry acidity, and by tannins that have a clean greenish burr and flow into a fairly long tannic finish. Direct, and will drink well with foods, especially grilled meats or light stews. It would be a nice wine to drink day-to-day.
2 stars

Bricco del Cucù San Bernardo Dogliani DOCG 2005
Lot DD24706
Poured pyrope ink. The bouquet is a bit off, not corked but rather reduced at the outset; with oxygenation it opens to reveal cherry plum fruit supported by alcohol, which confers a certain sweetness, and some graphite shaving bitterness as well. On the palate it's ample, with plum fruit supported by moderate plum acidity and by tannins that are ample and quite smooth; the overall impression is one of considerable polish that removes not just the annoying irregularities but most everything else as well. Because of this smoothness it will work well with drier meats, but I found myself wishing for more verve and liveliness, because the wine is fairly settled.
1 star

Cantina Clavesana
Frazione Madonna della Neve 19
12060 Clavesana
http://www.cantinaclavesana.it

Cantina Clavesana Produttori Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Impenetrable black cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with plum fruit supported by moderate acidity, with hints of underbrush and some overtones that would bring bandaids to mind were they stronger. On the palate it's full and soft, with ample fairly sweet plum fruit supported by slight plum acidity, and by ample tannins that are quite smooth considering this is a young Dolcetto, though they do have a slight greenish burr in the finish. I found it a bit softer than I might have liked; because of this it will work better with drier meats than with more succulent dishes.
1 star

Cantina Clavesana Dogliani DOCG 2005
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense, and vinous, with sweetish berry fruit supported by some greenish notes and gum Arabic, with some sea salt as well and hints of underbrush. It's charged, and not quite as clean as it might be, though the underbrush does fade
some as it oxygenates. On the palate it's full, and fairly sweet, with ripe plum fruit that gains direction from moderate sour plum acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that are quite polished, and flow into a clean fairly sweet plum finish with a slight greenish tannic burr that keeps it from settling. It's pleasant is a smooth, soft rather overripe fruit driven key, but this isn't really what I associate with Dolcetto, which should (I think) have some bite to it, and also freshness. But if you like the style, it will work well with drier roasted meats.
1 star

Cascina Minella
Borgata Biarella 80
12063 Dogliani
http://www.cascinaminella.it

Cascina Minella Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot DND6/02
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby. The bouquet is shut tight, of the nobody home variety, though swishing energetically does bring up some graphite shaving spice mingled with slight berry fruit. But not much. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately rich sour berry fruit that has a chalky feel, and is supported by bitter, fairly astringent tannins that flow into a clean bitter finish. I'd have liked greater intensity to the fruit than I found. This said, because of the tannins it will drink well with succulent meats off the grill.
1 star

Cascina Minella Bricco Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot D806/01
Impenetrable pyrope ink; one could write with it. The bouquet is fairly bright, with cherry plum fruit supported by nose tingling acidity, slight hints of gum Arabic, and underlying peppery spice with some underbrush; as it opens there are also bitter vegetal accents that add depth. On the palate it's full, with fairly rich jammy plum fruit supported by moderate sour plum acidity and by ample peppery tannins that flow into a clean greenish astringent finish with ground pepper underpinning. It's a touch soft, but pleasant enough, and will drink well with drier meats.
2 stars

Chionetti Quinto e Figlio
B.Ta Valdiberti 44
12063 Dogliani
http://www.chionettiquinto.com

Chionetti Quinto e Figlio Briccolero Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is delicate, with floral accents, in particular violets and irises, mingled with some sweetness and hints of underbrush. Not much fruit. On the palate it's ample, with fairly bright cherry fruit that gains direction from clean cherry acidity, while the support is from ample tannins that have a warm bitter astringent burr and flow into a clean tannic finish that is again astringent. It's direct, and will work nicely with grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

Chionetti Quinto e Figlio San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish red berry fruit supported by pleasant berry fruit acidity and some vinous warmth, with underlying bramble and slight underbrush. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright slightly lean sour cherry fruit supported by clean slightly astringent tannins that flow into a tannic finish that leaves tongue and teeth quite clean. It's direct in a cheeky sort of way, and will drink quite well with simple grilled meats or light stews; it will also be a nice wine to serve at a cookout. Expect it to go quickly in the proper setting.
2 stars

Del Tufo Bruno
Borgata Gombe 33
12063 Dogliani
http://www.deltufo.it

Del Tufo Bruno Vigna Spina Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2005
Lot 6240
Deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is eye opening, with fairly bright berry fruit that has some bell pepper jam overtones and is supported by quite a bit of alcohol and balsamic notes that strengthen with swishing, also savory accents. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with moderately rich berry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and tannins that are quite smooth and fairly sweet; I found it somewhat lacking in verve, though it will drink well with simple grilled meats or light stews.
1 star

Eraldo Revelli
Località Pian Bosco 29
12060 Farigliano
http://www.eraldorivelli.com

Eraldo Revelli San Matteo Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Deep black almandine ruby with cherry ruby rim. The bouquet is on the wild side, with warm savory balsamic notes mingling with sea salt and wet stable straw. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by clean cherry acidity, and by sweet tannins that are quite smooth for a young Dolcetto, and flow into a clean finish that combines tart plums with a degree of sweetness. As it oxygenates the wildness fades, though not completely, revealing plum fruit in addition to the balsamic notes, while the tang resolves into warm acidity. In other words, it's a wine that will benefit from being decanted, and will drink nicely with drier meats, either roasted red meats cooked medium, or white meats. If you like this slightly rustic style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Eraldo Revelli Autin Roca Dogliani DOCG 2005
Impenetrable pyrope with black cherry rim; poured ink. The bouquet is fairly intense, with sweet accents that are from alcohol mingling with plum fruit and bitter graphite with some pungent overtones as well, and slight underbrush; there's also gum Arabic that emerges with swishing. On the palate it's ample and soft, with smooth plum fruit supported by moderate plum acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean plum laced finish with bitter tannic overtones. It's overripe, for me, but by comparison with a number of other 2005 Dogliani wines has more of a tannic bite, and as a result will perhaps work better with foods -- still drier roasts and pot roasts, but the tannins will help balance the richness of the sauce or gravy the meat is served with. If you like this big, soft, fruit driven style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

La Fusina
Frazione Santa Lucia 33
12063 Dogliani
http://www.lafusina.com

La Fusina Gombe Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 15-4-07
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is bright, and fairly sweet, with cherry fruit, some underbrush and vinous overtones. No floral accents. On the palate it's ample and smooth with moderately intense cherry plum fruit that gains direction from both moderate acidity, and from a bitter underpinning that complements the tannins, which are ample and fairly smooth; the finish is more of the same, simply fading. It's direct, and there are slight metallic notes to the tannins that I found distracting.
1 star

La Fusina Cavagné Dogliani DOCG 2005
Lot 02-11-06
Impenetrable pyrope ruby with black cherry rim -- poured ink. The bouquet is sweetish, with alcohol and ripe plum fruit supported by some bitter accents and slight acidity, but not much fruit, and there is some balsam as well. The overall impression is fairly closed. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderate plum fruit that gains direction from mineral plum acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into an almost fruitless mineral finish with bitter overtones that I found a bit disconcerting. If wines are about fruit and the interaction between it, tannins, and acidity, this is on the fringes.
1 star

Marenco Aldo F.lli
Frazione Pironi 25
12063 Dogliani
http://www.marencoaldo.it

Marenco Aldo e Figli Surì Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with quite a bit of alcohol mingled with red berry fruit and some underbrush; there are also brandied cherries in the underpinning. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with fairly bright cherry plum fruit supported by cherry fruit acidity and by ample sweet smooth tannins that are quite smooth for a young Dolcetto, and flow into a clean plum finish that's quite persistent. It's a big fruity wine, and fairly soft, and if you like this style you will enjoy it, though I wouldn't suggest it for those who prefer tighter wines. Because of its softness it will drink well with drier meats.
2 stars

Marenco Aldo e Figli Parlapà Dogliani DOCG 2005
Deep pyrope ruby with black reflections and cherry ruby rim. The color is less charged than some of the Dogliani wines, but the nose is more in line with the others, revealing cooked plum fruit laced with metallic notes, some spice, and alcohol strong enough to confer a degree of sweetness. It's tired. On the palate it's ample and soft, with moderately intense plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and by ample tannins that have a lax feel to them, like a person whose arms hang after a long day moving boxes, and flow into a tired plum finish. There's no verve and precious little life to it, and this is a pity, because I remember this wine when it was a Dolcetto di Dogliani as having a body and drive that it doesn't display now. A pity, and I'd be happy to see a change in direction here.
1 star

Pecchenino
Borgata Valdiberti 59
12063 Dogliani
http://www.pecchenino.com

Pecchenino San Luigi Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 3.07
Impenetrable pyrope with cherry rim. The bouquet is elegant, with rich cherry fruit supported by clean cherry acidity and almond blossoms that add bitter accents and depth. Quite refreshing, and very pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's rich, with powerful cherry fruit supported by almost raspberry acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that have bitter almond overtones and flow into a clean berry fruit finish that gains depth from bitter accents. It's quite pleasant, and will contribute mightily to a meal built around a steak or lamb chops, or to tasty stews, and for some reason as I sipped a had a vision of a steaming chicken pot pie. Hunger perhaps, but the wine would be very nice with it. In short, a versatile food wine that will contribute beautifully to what it's served with. Worth seeking out.
88-90

Pecchenino Bricco Botti Dogliani DOCG 2005
Lot 2.07
Impenetrable pyrope ink. The bouquet is fairly intense, with plum cherry fruit supported by underbrush and some balsamic accents that gain depth from mentholated overtones and greenish spice; as it oxygenates the fruit becomes fresher, shifting some towards berry fruit from plum. On the palate it's full and soft, with ample cherry plum fruit supported by clean smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean tannic finish. It's overripe after the fashion of most of the 2005 Doglianis, but has greater control and depth than most, and is also a little less overripe; the fruit, though plum, has some berry fruit accents, and feels fresher. Because of its smooth softness it will work well with drier meats, and will be a good choice if you like this ample soft fruit driven style. As was the case with Aldo Marenco's wine, however, the 1997 Bricco Botti I tasted a few years ago was harvested much less ripe than this, and therefore the fruit register was more towards berry fruit than plum, and when I tasted it I remember finding it much more interesting than I am finding this now.
2 stars

Poderi Luigi Einaudi
Borgata Gombe 31
12063 Dogliani
http://www.poderieinaudi.com

Poderi Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 7A144
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly alcoholic, with berry fruit and some spice mingled with hints of underbrush, but not much in the way of floral accents. It feels tired. On the palate it's ample and smooth, with moderately intense cherry plum fruit supported by alcohol, slight acidity, and tannins that are surprisingly smooth for a Dolcetto, though Dogliani seems to have quite a bit of this. I found it overmuch and over soft; because of its softness it will drink well with drier meats, but I found myself wishing for more backbone and verve.
1 star

Poderi Luigi Einaudi Vigna Tecc Dogliani DOCG 2005
Impenetrable pyrope ink. The bouquet is moderately intense, with plum fruit supported by alcohol that confers a degree of sweetness, and by smooth spicy accents; there's not much floral here. On the palate it's big, smooth and soft, with ample plum fruit supported by moderate plum acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean plum laced finish that is kept from settling by the acidity, which also takes on some dry greenish tannic accents as well. It's big, and soft, and if you like this rather overripe style it will go well with drier roasts or pot roasts, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Poderi Luigi Einaudi I Filari Dogliani DOCG 2005
Impenetrable poured pyrope ink. The bouquet is closed, though with swishing some India ink bitterness mingled with slight plum fruit emerges, with underlying spice. On the palate it's ample and soft with moderately intense plum fruit that gains slight direction from moderate plum acidity -- there was more in some Dogliani -- supported by tannins that have fairly pronounced bitter accents that expand in the finish, which is decidedly bitter. Because of these tannic accents it will work better to balance the sauces one might serve with drier meats, though it is still a wine you should only consider if you like soft overripe wines. If you prefer more verve, it won't work for you.
1 star

Romana Carlo
Frazione Gombe 16
Localita Barrderi
12063 Dogliani
http://www.viniromana.it

Romana Carlo Rumanot Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 07/185
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, with some alcohol and plum fruit supported by slight greenish spice. On the palate it's ample, with brighter cherry fruit than I might have expected from the nose, which gains direction from moderate acidity and is supported by decidedly astringent tannins that flow into a dry tannic finish with some peppery overtones. I'd have liked more depth, and greater richness of fruit to match the tannic structure, which finds itself doing more than it should and therefore comes across as a bit strident.
1 star

Romana Carlo Surì Vinsant Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 07/103
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is a bit overripe, with jammy plum cherry fruit supported by some metallic notes and considerable alcohol with slight greenish accents as well, mingled with spice as it opens, while the overall impression is also fairly sweet at the outset; as it oxygenates tart berry fruit acidity also emerges. On the palate it's ample, with brighter cherry fruit than I expected from the nose, supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity, and by ample smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish. It's more interesting on the palate than the nose, and because of the brightness of the fruit will work well with grilled meats or light stews, and I found it growing on me.
2 stars

Romana Carlo Brich Dij Nor Dogliani DOCG 2005
Lot 06/304
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, in a rather medicinal key with balsamic notes at the outset; as it oxygenates cherry plum fruit emerges, gaining definition from moderate berry fruit acidity and some underbrush. On the palate it's brighter than I might have expected from the initial nose, with fairly lively cherry fruit supported by lively cherry acidity and by tannins that have a slight greenish burr and flow into a clean rather sour finish with tannic underpinning. It's pleasant enough, displaying greater freshness than most of the Dogliani wines, and is one of the few I might think to serve with succulent grilled or roasted red meats. It's not something to set aside, but will be nice now.
2 stars

San Fereolo
Borgata Valdibà 59
12063 Dogliani
http://www.sanfereolo.com

San Fereolo Valdibà Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with cherry plum fruit supported by some greenish accents and some gum Arabic. Fairly direct. On the palate it's full, and fairly soft, with ample plum cherry fruit supported by clean plum acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean plum fruit finish. It's big, fruit driven, and a bit overripe for my taste, but if you like this style it will drink well with drier meats, along the lines of roast beef cooked medium, or roasted white meats.
2 stars

San Fereolo San Fereolo Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore DOC 2004
Impenetrable black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with warm balsamic notes mingled with acidity and a fair amount of alcohol, with underlying cherry and plum fruit. On the palate it's fairly bright, with cherry plum fruit supported by fairly intense cherry plum acidity and by decidedly bitter tannins that lay a graphite shaving trail over the tongue and flow into a distinctly bitter finish. As it oxygenates the balsamic notes fade, while berry fruit with slight greenish almond accents comes more to the fore. In other words, it will benefit from decanting, and in terms of accompaniments will drink nicely with succulent red meats off the grill or light stews, and you may find yourself wanting a second bottle.
2 stars

San Fereolo San Fereolo Dogliani DOCG 2005
Poured pyrope ink one could use to fill an ink well with. The bouquet is fairly intense, with cherry plum fruit supported by underbrush and some wood smoke, and some greenish accents as well. On the palate it's full and quite soft, with ample plum fruit that gains direction from delicate sour plum acidity, and is supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a dusky, unexpectedly tongue-drying tannic finish; though harvesting overripe grapes to obtain the desired polyphenolic ripeness has cut the acidity back substantially, Dolcetto's tannins still do emerge, more than in many of the other Dogliani wines, and I can't help but think of this as positive, though I'd have liked greater freshness overall. In terms of accompaniments, drier meats served with sauces or gravies.
1 star

Sicca Giovanni
Via Rambaudi 5
12040 Sanfrè
http://www.siccavini.it

Sicca Giovanni Vigneto San Giorgio Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC 2006
Lot 7130
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is a bit on the wild side, with warm balsamic acidity and sea salt mingled with some underlying berry fruit and alcohol. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bright sour cherry fruit supported by clean sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth, though they do have some astringent accents, and it all flows into a clean fairly bitter tannic finish. With more oxygenation, the wine opens, displaying elegant tart cherry fruit laced with some greenish accents and pleasant underlying spice. In other words, it's a wine that will benefit from decanting, and will drink well with succulent grilled meats or light stews.
2 stars

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Having just had a bottle of the Sorì Colombe 2006 I'd agree with you - it's pleasant enough, but nothing special.

One to look out for is the Vajra Dolcetto (the ordinary one, not the fancy one whose name I forget). The 2005 was fantastic, although I was underwhelmed by the 2006.