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Destefanis Dolcetto d'Alba Vigna Monia Bassa 2007

Dolcetto from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    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.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Destefanis

    Destefanis

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    Destefanis, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
    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.

    North Berkeley Imports

    An historic village situated right in between the famous regions of Barolo and Barbaresco, Alba is also the name for the larger wine region surrounding the village.

    In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.

    Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.

    Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.

    Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.

    Dolcetto

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    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.

    Perfect Pairings

    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.

    Sommelier Secret

    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.

    NBIDESTEFDOL_2007 Item# 108071