Why is this Wine so Yummy?
First harvest: 1987
Vineyard Location: La Morra sub-zone of Barolo.
Plant density: 6000 – 8000 plants / ha
Yield per plant: 1 Kg – 1.5 Kg
Exposure: east – west
Variety: 100% Dolcetto
Bottles produced: about 12000
Serving temperature: 15 ° C – 16 ° C
Fermentation is carried out in the traditional manner in small volume stainless steel vats. The malo-lactic fermentation follows immediately and the wine remains in stainless steel for a total of 10 months.
The 2016 Vintage
The 2016 vintage was certainly one of the longest-lasting in recent years. Winter was mild and dry, however March saw temperatures drop with plenty of rain, providing the soil with good reserves of water but delaying flowering by around 10 days. This phenological delay continued until the end of the summer, which also began slowly but extended until the end of September. All the grapes were healthy, and cases of hail were less intense and widespread than during the previous year.
The harvest of the whites began early September and they show excellent aromatics with good acidity and structure. The red harvest immediately followed the whites with the Dolcetto, then Barbera and without a break by Nebbiolo in mid-October. 2016 was a very good vintage for Dolcetto, but even more so for Barbera, which acquired excellent levels of sugar over a sustained period of good weather, while maintaining the varietal’s typically good acidity. Overlapping in some cases with the harvest of the Barbera, the Nebbiolo followed the classic order: first Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d’Alba, then Barolo.
The late development during spring and early summer, was made up for over August and September, resulting in perfect phenolic maturity. Overall the 2016 wines show excellent balance, generous bouquets and great structure, although in some cases with lower alcohols. We can therefore expect 2016 to be a vintage, which, will be talked about for a long time to come!
Dolcetto’s, pronounced dole-CHET-toe, translates to ‘Little Sweet’.
Hit the restaurants in Alba at lunchtime and you’ll see plenty of Dolcetto on the table.
The great estates of Barolo, naturally make great Dolcetto.
Where is it grown?
It’s widely planted throughout the Langhe, the broader region within which Barbaresco and Barolo rest.
It is also grown in Liguria under the name Ormeasco, and, in the Oltrepò Pavese, where it is confusingly named, Nebbiolo or Nibièu. The only DOCG (highest Italian classification) is Dolcetto di Dogliani. The wines of Alba, home to Barolo, being classified DOC, but, perhaps the finest of all of the Barberas.
Lower in acid, ripening weeks before Barbera and Nebbiolo, allows it to be planted in higher, and, cooler sites. Getting the tannin ripe is essential.
What does it taste like?
The wines tend to have deep dark colour, opulent fruit and age well over around five years.
Dolcetto tends to have darker, black fruit characters, with an earthiness, and, fruit derived (not oak derived) woody character. Rich in mid-palate fruit, they often have an edge of rustic, fun, tannin. Many producers make Dolcetto that is a little raw, not developed enough prior to bottling to present as a complete wine.
The best like Voerzio and Cavalotto make wines that have undergone a full élévage and have an extra layer of poise. This time, tames the fruit, giving the wine enough oxygen to take the raw edge off it, balancing it with a decent layer of softer tannin.
Tips for Drinking this Wines
🌡Temp: 16°C. We tend to drink reds an edge warm. There’s nothing wrong with chucking the bottles in the fridge for 15minutes to drop a few degrees off them. If they end up too cold they’ll warm up quickly in the glass.
🍷Decanting: All of these wines will benefit from being thrown in a decanter, particularly in their youth. If you’re using a Coravin or other wine preserver, pour enough into each glass to be able to try them over the course of several hours. These young reds will open up and be more expressive with a bit of time in the glass.
⏳Time: I love trying good wines stand alone, with food, and, often the next day. It gives them the chance to shine and ensures you don’t miss a good wine through impatience or fail to bring out it’s best by not marrying them to food.
🕯Cellaring: Voerzio’s wines are drinking beautifully now, a testament to a skilled maker, one who clearly understands the interplay between oxygen, fruit, and, tannin! Best from 2nd half 2018 to 5 years.
🥩🍝🍕🍳Food Match: Just think Piedmontese, braises, rich tomato based ragù, truffles, beef, quail, lamb, wild boar, rabbit. Beef carpaccio with egg yolk and truffle oil! Head south and pair it with a pizza and you’ll go to a happy place. They make for excellent BBQ wines too.
The Best 2 Options for Preserving your Wine:
- Grab a Coravin wine preserver.
- Watch this video, “Stop the Wine-ocide” Kaani 2012 – My Deep Dark Secret, one of my first, about saving open bottles of wine from the drain, sorry about the quality, but, the message is still there.