What to drink this week
I’m not sure why Dolcetto has yet to take off in a significant way in the UK. We’ve developed a tremendous thirst for other Italian wines of frankly lesser innate interest and quality (yes, I am thinking about you, Prosecco and Pinot Grigio), yet Italy’s answer to cru Beaujolais, or even village Burgundy, remains a niche choice.
Charming and exciting, Dolcetto might just be the next big thing, predicts Harry Eyres
Why you should be drinking it
Dolcetto means literally ‘little sweet one’ and suffers perhaps from being considered the third most important red grape in the Langhe area of Piedmont—home of Barolo and Barbaresco—and other adjacent parts, after Nebbiolo and Barbera. This junior member of the family doesn’t aspire to great complexity or longevity, but has more straightforward charms: deep-purple colour, vivid juicy fruit, a certain bounce and enough sap and tannin to partner strong pasta sauces. The combination of highish tannin and low acidity is unusual, but can result in a wine of great charm.
What to drink
As an introduction to the grape, I thoroughly recommend de Forville’s Dolcetto d’alba 2015 (£9.99; www.majestic.co.uk): bright purple colour, enticing aromas of red fruits and tobacco, relatively soft and mouth-filling. Considerably more characterful and exciting is the Dolcetto d’alba 2014 from the specialist producer Andrea Oberto (right, £12.95; www.leaand sandeman.co.uk): vivid purple colour, lots of sappy chewy character, lovely crunchy fruit on the palate—very good indeed. A more unusual style of Dolcetto comes from Renato Fenocchio: his Dolcetto d’alba 2014 (£13.40; www.tanners-wines.co.uk) is lighter in colour and the effect is more feminine, subtle and Burgundian.