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 our 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.
The wine offers an attractive appearance with an intense ruby-red colour with purple hints, a vinous aroma, sometimes fruity, and a dry taste with a full body and a pleasant touch of bitterness.
Spicy, a bit saucy with it, cherry and new leather. It’s fruity and fleshy, a slight balsamic note, light grip, raspberry and cherry flavour, a fair bit of oomph to it, and a something of a ‘mineral’ crushed rock thing. Almond and cherry play out on a slightly rugged finish. Needs a few years, but very good.