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Renato Ratti Colombe Dolcetto d'Alba 2011

Dolcetto from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP89
12.5% ABV
  • RP89
  • W&S88
  • RP87
  • WE87
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12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Colombe Dolcetto d'Alba is ruby red with an abundance of violet reflections. There is an intense bouquet with trace scents of cherry and ripe plum. This wine is balanced, fresh, rightly tannic, fragrant and lush, leaving a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

A wine for all tables, particularly suited for Italian style appetizers, first courses and fresh cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Ratti's 2011 Dolcetto d'Alba Colombe is super-impressive. A vein of tannin keeps the fruit suspended in a tight-wire act that balances fruit, acidity and minerality beautifully. Blueberries, tar, licorice and melted road tar are all layered into the pure, long finish. The Colombe is a serious Dolcetto with plenty of tannin to pair beautifully with rich foods. This is a striking wine from Pietro Ratti.
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Renato Ratti

Renato Ratti

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Renato Ratti, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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Located halfway up the hill dominating the principal valley of Barolo, buttressed by steep slopes lined by orderly vineyards, lies a precious jewel from the 15th century: the Abbey of Annunziata.

As the monks historically produced wine from the grapes of the surrounding hillsides, today, remembering their lessons, incomparable wines are produced.

From the 100 acres of vineyards, the Renato Ratti winery produces around 150,000 bottles from the traditional denominations of the area: Barolo, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba.

The modern and innovative philosophy of vinification introduced since the 60's by Renato Ratti, is today in the hands of his son Pietro and his nephew Massimo Martinelli.

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.

WWH126239_2011 Item# 118734