Dolcetto from Piedmont has improved greatly over the past decade, and to our thinking is similar in profile to Nebbiolo. This is what you drink if you can’t afford the big stuff, or you simply want a delicious red to match with many different foods. There is a palate cleansing quality to Luciano Sandrone’s 2019 Dolcetto d’Alba that compels another glass. Floral, with high toned red fruits, camphor and fallen leaves. Fresh and vital, with great energy and sandy tannins. Waters Wine Co
In this case the sites are also high altitude, which brings added freshness to the layers of fruit. From Estate vineyards in Monforte d’Alba, Sandrone draws from Castelletto and Cascina Pe Mol. The latter sits at the top of the ridge leading from Monforte d’Alba to the hamlet of Perno and is among the highest vineyards of the region. In Novello, the fruit comes from Rocche di San Nicola and the whitish marls of Ravera where the easterly exposure contributes perfume and aromatic complexity. Joining these sites now is Barolo fruit from Rivassi and Crosia.
Made only with natural yeasts, and each parcel vinified separately before blending. No oak. The 2019 is a super-fine, autumnal-noted wine with characters that you might more readily associate with Nebbiolo (dark cherry, menthol, forest floor, florals, pan juices and almond oil) than Dolcetto. Really classical in both its flavour spectrum and structure (there are plenty of fine tannins) this is a wonderful Piemontese red that is already superb drinking.