I’ve fallen behind on the alphabetical wine challenge, but I’m back in the game. I just have some serious ground to cover and catching up to do. So, onward to letter D. I had a hunch that the selection would possibly be a Dolcetto. There simply aren’t many options with that letter, plus I know Rob and Kelly, the shop owners of Tacoma Wine Merchants, are always a reliable source for Italian wines.
Dolcetto, which translates to “little sweet one,” is actually not sweet at all and is a dry red from Piedmont in northwestern Italy. Piedmont is one of my favorite wine producing regions in Italy. In fact, the Barbera that I loved, which was the B wine in this challenge, heralds from there as well (admittedly, I bought more of that bottle when picking up this Dolcetto). However, where Barbera is laced with a high acidity level, Dolcetto is lower in acidity level and generally light to moderate tannins.
The Dolcetto for this challenge was the Luciano Sandrone 2019 Dolcetto d’Alba. I was initially optimistic with the dark fruit aromatics on the nose, but the palate and finish didn’t quite follow suit. It was light to medium bodied and had a relatively short finish with nothing particularly notable. We paired it with all things roasted: a full chicken, accompanied by carrots and potatoes. I think this was a good pairing in the sense that food and wine were both simple and approachable. Nothing fancy, but that is what some nights and some situations call for. That may be why it is often referred to as a table wine in Italy. It is intended to be a casual, easy drinking wine.
Ironically, we just picked up a wine club shipment yesterday and it included a Dolcetto. It is from a Washington state winery with fruit sourced from Columbia Valley. I am curious to see how a domestic version of this varietal expresses itself. Stay tuned!