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General description of the Dolcetto d’Alba wine

The Dolcetto d’Alba obtained the precious certification of DOC in the July 1974 and exactly this year it celebrates the 6th of July its 40 years of certification which permits it to join the Piedmontese elite wines.

The Dolcetto d’Alba is one of the seven wines “Dolcetto” produced in the North-west of Italy. More precisely once again the Cuneo province and the Langhe valley that is surrounded by the Tanaro river, represents the perfect landscape where these prestigious grapes are cultivated.

On the contrary of what the name says, this wine expresses a particular fragrance and youth through its intense red color almost ruby, with some deep violet reflections with a fruity scent and a velvety and dry taste quite mellow and harmonic joined by a light bitter almond flavor. 

Dolcetto is the name of the vineyard from which the wine takes the name as produced with this single variety at 100%. In Piedmont this wonderful wine is considered as one of the remarkable red wines which is produced by the major of the cellars in this territory. As it is a DOC wine its production is allowed in the Cuneo province, and in just one town in Asti province because they have the same grounds.

The Dolcetto d’Alba is the meal wine that since ages is the most drunk in the Langhe territory. This wine thanks to traditional method production in addition to an elevate sociologic culture of the territory, it remotely revokes the memory of the workers and farmers that used to work in the fields and that took refreshment  by drinking this amazing wine which was an union between the economic poorness and an elevate quality life and psychophysical wellness. This wine if produced with low alcoholic degrees had to be consumed within the grape harvest year.

In fact today, as the tradition is that strong, that the Dolcetto is the wine the most drunk between the Langhe inhabitants and in the north-West of Italy where is produced for a 80% in the whole national production.

According to the tradition the Dolcetto d’Alba takes place in steel tanks under temperature control both during the fermentation than during the drawing off and the pouring. This operations are made in the moment and there is not preview any passage in wood barrels. Also the aging which has to be at least 6 months takes place in steel barrels and it follows the bottling from the 7th months until the next grape harvest.

There are some aspects that made this wine qualitative good and well-known in the national market: the attachment to the tradition which is very shown by the local population and the curiosity of its name that could be confused as dessert or meditation wine but on the contrary it has a dry taste and it is perfect to be drunk all along the meal. It is also rich of scents and flavors that exalt its qualities. This allowed it to rise the popularity together with other wines produced in the same area:  Barbera d’Alba DOC, the Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC, the Barolo DOCG, the Barbaresco DOCG, the Roero DOCG, the Verduno Palaverga DOC, the Dogliani DOCG and the Roero Arnais DOCG.

 

 

Description of the general features of the production territory of the Dolcetto d’Alba

The production area of the Dolcetto d’Alba DOC is located in the Tanaro Valley which is an ancient river that across the west Liguria and Piedmont in the Cuneo province. The area of the production of the Dolcetto is more or less the same of the Nebbiolo d’Alba with the addition of Coazzolo town in Asti province.

The cultivation and production area of the Dolcetto includes a wide portion of the Langhe territory which characterized the ground where the Po valley meets the top of the Apennines on the south, on the North and on the west sides it find the Piedmontese Pre-Alpes. The vineyards located on hill and on the feet of the mountains are cultivated on very sandy grounds with a prevalence of calcareous and abundance  of tufa which guarantee and optimal drainage. In addition in these lands are cultivated in minor quantities also the Barolo and the Barbaresco.


Description of the grapes and vine of the Dolcetto d’Alba

The red wine Dolcetto d’Alba is produced with 100% Dolcetto grapes from the half of September when the grapes have the right ripe moment, the humidity and temperatures permits to have an optimal acidity degree, a juicy wine and a correct sugar component.

The wine making process takes place with a natural maceration of the grapes for a period between the 4 and 6 days where they are maintained in a temperature between the 28° and the 30° C. During this period are frequent the pumping must over the grape dregs.

The drawing off is the latest part of the fermentation which can lasts additional 10 or 12 days and takes place in stillness steel barrels under temperature control. The last part of fermentation takes place in barrels of 4th or 6th passages to give to the wine the right taste. The last refinement takes place in steel or in the most prestigious cellars also in wood barrels and the bottling takes place in the following spring  and then it reaches the market after two months which means 6/7 months from the grape harvest.

The great versatility of this vine allows the production of several wines both as single variety 100% than blended. Between the most important wines we can quote: Barbera del Monferrato superiore, Colli Tortonesi Dolcetto novello, Dolcetto d'Acqui superiore, Dolcetto d'Acqui, Dolcetto d'Ovada superiore, Dolcetto d'Ovada, Valsusa novello and the Valsusa rosso.

 

Description of the wine

Aesthetically

The Dolcetto d’Alba has an intense and deep ruby red color with some rich reflections, almost if backlight, of an intense purple color presents mostly in those wines refined in wood barrels.

Olfactory

The Dolcetto d’Alba communicates with its scent all the characteristics of the territory production: it prevails the Pre-Alpes countryside scents, and fresh fruit such as peaches and red apples. Lightly winy and never tannic.

Taste

The first taste contradicts the name because is wide and persistent, it transmits its warm, it is structured, rich and concentrate and it has multiple tastes which remains on the palate for long time with a pleasant aftertaste which reminds the bitter almond. The taste is dry, velvety and persistent.

 

Suggested matches with the Dolcetto d’Alba

This wine has to be served between the 18° and the 20° in the “Ballon” wine glass to let all the scent to be spread and to permit to the consumer to take the pleasant surprise of the difference between the name and the taste.

The main matches are  with the typical picnic food such as cold cuts, bread, fresh local chesses. It is perfect the match with starters based on cold cuts, or ground, vegetables, grilled and boiled products. Some light risotto or vegetables soups and red meats especially boiled exalts its drinkability. Also the chickens if joined by boiled cereals such as spelt and barley is would be perfect.

The alcoholic degree has to be 11,5°C and further gradations obtained by the aging give to the wine the “Superiore” label (Dolcetto d’Alba Superiore) which is more structured, rich and winy with an increased aftertaste of bitter almond.

The best year is the 2008. Surf on our online wine shop and find out the Dolcetto d’Alba that Uritalianwines has selected for you.