Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto di Dogliani 2012
It all began in 1897, when 23-year-old Luigi Einaudi (Italy’s first President) purchased the first of the Einaudi estates at San Giacomo. Today, the President’s descendants have chosen to maintain continuity with their extraordinary heritage while looking to the future, turning the oldest wine property in the Dogliani area into a cutting-edge classic. Granddaughter Paola Einaudi, her son Matteo Sardagna, and Giorgio Ruffo – together with technical director Lorenzo Raimondi and winemaker Beppe Caviola – have proven a winning team. Today, the total surface of the property (10 farmsteads) is 358 acres, 111 of which are under vine. The vineyards, in turn, are subdivided into seven terroirs. Four of these are in Dogliani (four hills, one of which is the Vigna Tecc cru, another the premier area of San Luigi), while Barolo comprises two crus (Terlo and Cannubi). Terlo is part of the estate’s original nucleus (marly-calcareous soil at 984 feet above Cannubi hill, at an altitude of 722 feet above sea level), provide a Barolo of superb breed and longevity. The underground winery, located at Tecc and completed in 1993, was gradually doubled in size and provided with state-of-the-art barrel cellars, sophisticated humidity and temperature control systems, and a new-generation bottle cellar stocking over 240,000 bottles.
The hills of Dogliani, just to the south of the Barolo zone, produce the very best Dolcetto wines in the world. Its rolling hills reach higher elevations than those of Barolo and the area maintains strong Dolcetto vineyards as well as groves of hazelnut trees, farmland, pastures, and forests. Dogliani became its own DOCG in 2005; in order for a Dolcetto to be classified as Dogliani DOCG, it must come from one of the following communes: Bastia Mondovì, Belvedere Langhe, Clavesana, Cigliè, Dogliani, Farigliano, Monchiero, Rocca Cigliè, Roddino and Somano. Dogliani DOCG must have a deep red color, elegance, intense fruit, and aromas of currants, raspberry, and blackberry.
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.