Italian varietals bring so much to the table and we feature them in our wines—both as single varietals and in our proprietary blends. In this second installation of an ongoing series, join us as we delve into the nuances behind a selection of Italian grapes (“uva” in Italiano), grown right here in the Temecula Valley AVA.
At BOTTAIA, we proudly craft quality Italian varietals using sustainable viticulture practices and modern winemaking applications that respect Old World traditions. Consider us your very own Italian wine annex—right here in Southern California.
This time around let’s take a look at our 2014 Estate Dolcetto. This bottle is the perfect complement to an Italian feast or casual patio gathering. Likable, leathery, complex, and elegant, you’ll pick up fig and licorice on the nose, coupled with rose oil potpourri aromas. This rustic, unexpected wine has a lot of character, due in part to having been both stainless steel fermented and barrel-aged.
Our winemaker, Don Crank III, says “The aromatics are complex with dark chocolate-covered dried currants with the texture of fresh raspberries. On the tongue there is plum and a graphite minerality that finishes savory and sweet, pairing well with grilled salmon or red sauce pasta dishes.” Sound good to you? Read on to learn a bit about the Dolcetto grape. . . andiamo!
In Italian, Dolcetto means little sweet one, but don’t let the name fool you—this wine is not sweet. (Our Dolcetto contains 0% residual sugar, as a matter of fact.) In Italy, the locals actually named the grape after the phrase sweet little hills—la colina dolce. Coincidentally, Dolcetto is only sweet when compared to its highly acidic neighboring grapes, Barbera and Nebbiolo.
A black grape grown heavily in the Piedmont region, it produces wines varying in color from deep ruby to aubergine. Charming, soft, and low in acid, these grapes produce wines that are very fruity, but dry, with herbs and cocoa on the finish. It’s a tannic, earthy vino that makes for fantastic early drinking.
Within Piedmont, it’s said that the best Italian Dolcettos are made in Alba and a village called Dogliani, known as the birthplace of Dolcetto.
The grape was first mentioned in a letter addressed to local farmers back in 1593 in the town of Cuneo. Dolcetto was even used as currency to bargain for cattle back in the day. Now you’ll really be able to impress your friends the next time you pour a bottle of this vino.
When paired with sausages, mushrooms, pizza, meat ragu, and dried salami, Dolcetto is at its best. Serve a bottle or two alongside salmon, meatloaf, mac and cheese, barbecue ribs, baked chicken with herbs, or open a bottle for your next burger night. You’ll be glad that you did.
Ready to visit us and flaunt your knowledge of Italian varietals? Make a tasting room reservation or inquire about our BOTTAIA Wine Club by clicking here or calling (951) 365-3388. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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