Bargetto Dolcetto 2015
At the turn of the century, brothers Phillip and John BARGETTO (seated above) emigrated from Piedmont, Italy and later established BARGETTO winery in 1933. They brought with them years of Italian wine-making history. Wanting to highlight the distinct quality of their mountain-grown wine, Phillip and John decided to label their first wine with the designation "Select Mountain Vineyard" to showcase where the grapes were grown.
The Next Generation...
The BARGETTO Family winemaking heritage continued with John's son, Lawrence, who during the 1960's and 1970's introduced modern technology such as stainless steel fermentation and added new Santa Cruz Mountains varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He also instituted the Chaucer's line.
Today, the third generation of BARGETTOs direct the operation of the winery, which stands as the oldest California winery producing Santa Cruz Mountains wines. We have continued our pioneering spirit with the establishment of a new Santa Cruz Mountains Vineyard in Corralitos, California (Santa Cruz County), where we have planted Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir. In keeping with our family heritage, we plan to experiment with the northern Italian varieties.
A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.
An easy-drinker with modest acidity, soft fruity flavors—but catchy tannins, Dolcetto is often enjoyed in its native Piedmont while more serious Barolos and Barbarescos take their time to age. Here, this is the wine you are most likely to find at the table on a casual Tuesday night, accompanying local charcuterie or "apertivo" hour (the canonical Piemontese way to tease your palate before dinner). In recent years Dolcetto has found some footing in California, but plantings are fairly limited outside of Italy.
In the Glass
Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one,” and though the wines produced are typically not sweet in terms of residual sugar, they do possess delightfully fruity flavors of red cherry and blueberry, with an almond-like bitterness at the end and occasional hints of chocolate and baking spice.
Dolcetto is a lively, exuberant variety without a ton of complexity in most cases, and as such is best paired with simple, flavorsome foods such as pasta, pizza and simple meats—anything an Italian farmer might consume after a long day in the field.
In most of Piedmont, easy-ripening Dolcetto is relegated to the secondary sites—the best of which are reserved for the king variety: Nebbiolo. However, in the Dogliani zone it is the star of the show, and here it makes a bigger, riper and a more serious style of Dolcetto, many of which can improve with cellar time.