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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.

    Beloved for flavorful red wines, Alba is an epicurean’s dream. The historic walled town at its heart is where growers from throughout the Piedmont region would once go to sell their produce to winemakers and négociants following the harvest, but today it is better recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations. Sandwiched between Barolo and Barbaresco, the best vineyards, located atop sunny, south-facing hills, are planted with Nebbiolo. A popular entry-level alternative to its pricier neighbors, Nebbiolo d’Alba is softer and less tannic, ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling.

    Dolcetto, one of Piedmont’s more easygoing varieties, is commonly grown here, known as Dolecetto d'Alba, and can often be found casually served in carafes on the tables of Alba’s oseterias and trattorias. These light and smooth wines are meant to be drunk young and with gusto while the region’s more serious wines age. Barbera is planted here as well, and takes on a more powerful, structured personality than that of its counterparts in Asti.

    Dolcetto

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    An easy-drinker with modest acidity and soft fruity flavors, 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 dinner table on a casual Tuesday night. 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 licorice. While Dolcetto can be tannic, it is relatively low in acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Dolcetto is a lively, exuberant variety without much complexity, and as such is best paired with simple, flavorsome foods such as pasta, pizza, and grilled meats—anything an Italian farmer might consume after a long day in the fields.

    Sommelier Secret

    In most of Piedmont, easy-ripening Dolcetto is relegated to the less ideal vineyard locations, which are reserved for more finicky Nebbiolo and Barbera. However, in the Dogliani zone it is the star of the show, and here it makes a bigger, riper, and often more serious style of wine.

    RCL0102114_2001 Item# 60033