Piero Benevelli La Costa Dolcetto d'Alba 2020
Loaded with aromas of violets and ripe berries, it is full-bodied yet soft and effortlessly downable, providing satisfaction without pretense or a fancy price tag.
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The young Massimo Benevelli has developed into an extremely talented Piemontese grower. He exhibits a total command of the production process, from vine to bottle. When tasting his production during various stages of aging—in barrel, tank, and bottle—there is a consistency, a touch, an intangible quality that is the mark of something great. His wines show character, soul, and originality.
The Benevelli holdings are mostly concentrated in the southeastern-facing hillside cru of “Ravera” in the deep southeast of the Barolo zone. The wines from Ravera have the distinction of combining the structural strength of neighboring Serralunga d’Alba with the concentration and richness of Bussia and the other crus further north. Massimo’s Baroli are approachable young but like any great Barolo, reveal their true potential after at least five years or more in bottle. His Dolcetto and Langhe Nebbiolo are true Piemontese delights as well—classic and full of pleasure.
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.
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.