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Marcarini Dolcetto d'Alba Fontanazza 2001

Dolcetto from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Intense ruby red. Fine, spicy aroma reminiscent of cinnamon. Lively red fruit; full-bodied, noble wine with pleasingly bitter/acid finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Marcarini

    Marcarini

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    Marcarini, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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    Luisa & Manuel Marchetti have been in charge of Luisa's family winery since 1990, with Manuel responsible for sales & promotions, Luisa orchestrating the wines with consultant oenologist Armando Cordero. Founded by Luisa's great-great-great-grandfather, the estate was one of the very first in the area to designate single vineyards on its labels as early as 1950. The property covers 62 acres, 42 of which are under vine. In fact, one of Marcarini's superb, historical crus is 150-year-old Boschi di Berri, whose Dolcetto vines are among the oldest in Italy, having survived Phylloxera and maintained indigenous rootstock. The Marchettis' varietal map (except the Shiraz) is almost exclusively native to the Langhe hills. The Nebbiolo grapes for Barolo are grown within the estate's original nucleus, high on the rolling terroir of La Morra: two celebrated, contiguous crus, Brunate and La Serra. The building itself (adjoining a medieval tower) goes back to the 1700s: the cool, ancient underground cellars provide an ideal environment for the wines’ classic élevage. The exceptional vineyards – all estate-owned – are the true heart of the winery. The superb locations, steepness of the slopes and nature of the terrain, exposure to the sunlight, exceptional microclimate, are not only conducive to top wines, but to non-aggressive, natural vineyard management.

    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.

    RCL0102114_2001 Item# 60033