What to drink this week

Dol­cetto

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

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.

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