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Feb 24, 2018
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Goldilocks and the Three Dolcettos

January 31st 03:01pm, 2013

Dolcetto has frequently been called the “Beaujolais of Italy,” which has bothered me for years, because it’s totally inaccurate and unfair to France’s Beaujolais. Here are three exciting and dramatically different views of this beautiful red grape.

Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d’Alba, 2010, Piedmont, Italy At first sip, this wine seemed unusual for a Dolcetto, a typically easy and fruity grape. But what initially appeared to be “way too big” turned out to be a lengthy and powerful version of this shy variety. This large and voluptuous style was amazing for its intensity at around $20.

Palmina Dolcetto, 2010, Santa Barbara County, Calif. As a Santa Barbara Dolcetto virgin, my anticipation was a solid Missouri “Show Me!” After swirling and sniffing, the lusciously round and soft tannins were captivating. There was even a very vague sense of wood – unusual if a Dolcetto is from Italy, but who knows what an American Dolcetto should be? Different from its Old World cousins, this great wine was delicious $20 yumminess with a half-minute finish.

Pio Cesare Dolcetto d’Alba 2011, Piedmont, Italy Then Pio came to play. While ordering multiple courses at Charlie Gitto’s in Chesterfield, my guess that this would be “just right” with pasta, salad, chicken and pizza was confirmed. I’m not claiming that this $25 red is the perfect wine for all food, but it was for one night.

By Glenn Bardgett

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