Elio Altare Dolcetto d'Alba 2017
Great with antipasto, pasta, white meat, light cheese, salami, pizza and paninis.
Grandfather Giuseppe Altare purchased the farm and winery in 1948, and our family practiced the typical Piemontese mixed agriculture up until the mid-1970s. Besides winegrapes, the family grew pears. apples, hazelnuts, wheat, and corn. 1971 was the last year in which we worked the land with oxen; after that we gradually acquired tractors and other farm machinery.
Those were not easy times, given the economic crisis that lasted for years. Elio, along with other friends, decided to learn about winemaking beyond the borders of Piemonte and try to grab some of the success that those regions were enjoying. Their first trip to Burgundy, in January 1976, was a revelation, and Elio began experimenting with methods outside of the traditional ones in Piemonte
After a brief period working with his father Giovanni, Elio, at the age of 26 years decided to change direction and to give a different interpretation to the family's wine, favouring elegance, finesse, and balance. He began a strict regimen in the vineyard and adopted new vinification techniques in the cantina in order to highlight the grape variety and the territory in which it was grown.
The winery at this point is a family operation, with the invaluable help of Elio's wife, Lucia, and daughters Silvia and Elena. Together, they continue Elio's tireless effort, experimentation, and research.
Today the family works 10 hectares, of which five are rented. They have adopted techniques aimed at respecting nature. The principle objective is that of limiting the use of chemical substances, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. The wines are not subjected to filtering or fining, so that they keep all of the material and character extracted during maceration
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.
An easy drinking red with soft fruity flavors—but catchy tannins, Dolcetto is often enjoyed in its native Piedmont on a casual weekday night, or for apertivo (the canonical Piedmontese pre-dinner appetizer hour). Somm 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 makes a more serious style of Dolcetto, many of which can improve with cellar time.