If you are not familiar with this wine, it can be a real surprise. The name is deceptive: As dolce means sweet in Italian, many might think that Dolcetto is a dessert wine. In reality the name comes from the Langhe, deriving more about the grape than the wine. It’s always been the table grape of hills, eaten in the autumn together with seasonal pears and boiled chestnuts from the nearby Alpine valleys. Gianni Brera, the noted journalist of the Guerin Sportivo weekly and La Repubblica daily, wrote to us in a letter dated August 1979: I’ve uncorked a few of your bottles. The Dolcetto enchanted me. It is very solid, serious but not stern. An act of barbarity justifies the otherwise-suspect name: Our ancestors, ready in front of a full-bodied Barbera, must have been touched and used a term of endearment to name it, just like ercolino (“little Hercules”, a term for a strong child) for the Romans.
VARIETY: 100% Dolcetto
Location: Castiglione Falletto, Sheet 7, Sub-plots 57, 58 Characteristics: 300 meters above sea level, southern exposure, 2.7 x 0.8 meters spacing, 4,700 vines/hectare density, Guyot upwardtrained vertical-trellised training system. Age: 30 years Size: 0.6 hectares Yield: 80 quintals/hectare Location: Town of La Morra (Le Rù), Plot 21, Sub-plot 499 Characteristics: 280 meters above sea level, southwestern exposure, 2.7 x 0.8 meters spacing, 4,700 vines/hectare density, Guyot upward-trained vertical-trellised training system. Age: 40-50 years Size: 0.6 hectares Yield: 80 quintals/hectare
HARVESTING PERIOD: Mid-September
VINIFICATION: Selection of grapes in the vineyard, fermentation and maceration for about 12 days in stainlesssteel containers, followed by malolactic fermentation in November.
MATURING: Ageing in stainless steel followed by bottling the next spring. On the market from early summer.
SENSORY CHARACTERISTICS: Attractive appearance with an intense ruby-red color with purple hints, a vinous aroma, sometimes fruity, and a dry taste with a full body and a pleasant touch of bitterness