When guests are looking for red wine from the Piedmont region of Italy there is a clear hierarchy. The Nebbiolo grape, which produces the esteemed wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, sits alone at the top and with good reason. Well-aged bottles of these Piedmont gems are regarded as some of the world’s greatest wines. It might surprise some people to know however that Barolo and Barbaresco are often reserved for special occasions. Even in Piedmont these wines tend to be expensive and often demand more attention than might be appropriate for an everyday family meal. So what do the Piemontese drink on an everyday basis?
Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont and the wine that most often fills their glasses, but there is another less appreciated wine that I would like to introduce to you.
Dolcetto grown in the Piedmont region can produce wonderfully complex, food-friendly wines at a fraction of the cost of its more famous siblings. This is especially true when Dolcetto is planted around the town of Dogliani.
The town of Dogliani is located amidst the rolling hills just a few miles from where Barolo and Barbaresco hail from. The difference is that in Dogliani, Dolcetto is king and it gets planted in the prime vineyard sites with the best exposure. The wines of Dogliani are known to be the best expression of Dolcetto.
One of the newest additions to our Italian portfolio is Chionetti Dolcetto Dogliani San Luigi. I tasted this wine a few months ago and immediately became a huge fan. I’m not alone in my admiration. Antonio Galloni gave the wine 91 points and had this to say: “The 2012 Dogliani San Luigi wraps around the palate with dark raspberries, crushed flowers, licorice, and cinnamon. Racy, perfumed and beautifully expressive for Dogliani, the 2012 delivers all the richness Dolcetto is renowned for here but in a decidedly feminine, gracious style that is impossible not to love.”
Paul Quaglini, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine and spirits supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinepaulq