Destefanis Dolcetto d'Alba Vigna Monia Bassa 2007
Dolcetto from Piedmont, Italy
Dolcetto from winemaker Marco Destefanis is about as close as you can come to tasting just how pure this Piedmontese grape can be without picking it off the vine yourself. Spicy, juicy and always chock-full of purple pleasure, Destefanis Dolcetto represents one of our finest quality/price finds from Piedmont.
More punch and muscle. "Vigna Monia Bassa" represents a selection of older, lower yielding vines that are the best exposed of winemaker Marco Destefanis' vineyards. Concentrated and complex, with suggestions of huckleberries, licorice and vanilla on the palate.
International Wine Cellar - "Full red-ruby. Sexy, complex, soil-driven aromas of dark berries, minerals, dark chocolate, smoked meat and tobacco. Rich and tactile in the mouth, with a subtle sweetness and noteworthy lift to the intriguing currant, smoke and meat flavors. A substantial, soil-driven wine that finishes broad and dry, with considerable dusty tannins and plenty of energy. No rush to drink this."
Marco's grandfather, Giuseppe, founded the family's petite Piedmont estate in the small village of Montelupo Albese in the 1950s, planting his vineyards in the 1960s. In 1985 Marco breathed fresh life into the property by replanting (to a greater density) those early vineyards, updating the family's cellar and re-focusing the estate on Piedmont’s traditional native varietals, Barbera and Dolcetto.
Marco is a tireless worker, managing the entire estate practically by himself. He neither fines nor filters his wines, preferring (as we do) that every bit of fruit from the fields finds its way into every bottle.
Destefanis' "Bricco Galluccio" vineyard, located on some of the region's steepest hillsides, produces a Dolcetto with bright, fresh fruit aimed at early consumption and aged exclusively in tank. Old vines, some 60 years or more, give concentrated, lush and endlessly deep flavors for "Monia Bassa," a special single-vineyard wine that is aged a few months in older barrels for extra complexity.
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About PiedmontView a map of Piedmont wineries (PEED-mont)
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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