The first wine to be tasted is a Dolcetto d’Alba DOC, Cascina Gramolere, from the Monforte territory.
First of all, a few words about this vine variety: the dolcetto grape. It’s a dry wine, not sweet, and it’s the characteristic grape from the Langhe which is well disseminated in this area. The first documents that talk of this vine variety date back to the 1500s.
It is drinkable on a daily basis and it can also be preserved for a certain length of time.
The territory is typical of the Langhe; a territory with a very high wine vocation. It was formed many millions of years ago as a result of the sea level rising.
Monforte is an exclusive terroir, like the well-known Barolo from Monforte, yet the Dolcetto too has found its ideal habitat here.
The vineyard aims at the quality of the grapes, because, clearly, a great red wine is created mainly in the vineyard.
This beautiful phrase “… if you want a good glass of wine, buy a vineyard.” by Arturo Bersano is quite indicative.
The work in the winery
We should also add that the vineyard is maintained via a system that protects the environment, through integrated pest control; it has a low yield per hectare and is harvested on average in early September.
The winery simply enhances what was created in the vineyard; as a result the fermentation is regular with a brief maceration period and the wine is then preserved in stainless steel.
It’s a table wine; a wine that develops fruity features, a typical characteristic of the vine.
Well now, at this point, we should try tasting it.
I repeat, this is a dolcetto d’Alba, vintage 2016 a great harvest, Cascina Gramolere, Monforte d’Alba.
Let’s start with its visual appearance. It has a magnificent and intense purplish red color, perfect chromaticity, intensity and tonality; a truly inviting color.
The viscosity is perfect, as are the tears. I would add that it’s a very pristine wine. So let’s say that, on a visual level, I’d give it full marks and due praise.
Now let’s move on to the most interesting aspect, the olfactory aspect.
To the nose the Dolcetto is characterized by fruity aromas and sweet fruit. They are the primary bouquets, linked to the vineyard and the alcoholic fermentation, which develop these wonderful scents, these fruity-sweet notes.
The general rule is: white wines – white flowers, red wines – red fruits.
This dolcetto allows us to easily perceive hints of black cherries, currants and raspberries. These are, I repeat, primary bouquets which over time develop towards more complex notes of ripe fruit and also some slightly spicy notes.
Its aroma is frank, of absolute intensity, of great finesse and also of great persistence.
La regola generale è queste: vino bianchi – fiori bianchi, vini rossi – frutti rossi.
Let’s now take a look at the taste aspect. To the palate it is well-balanced, warm and dry, contrary to its name (dolcetto-sweet).
It has great harmony, a good balance. The acidity is limited, the tannins are practically non-existent.
This wine goes well with good food, but then again it should be savored young, even as soon as the summer following the harvest.
It should be served at 16° C, in large glasses (as shown in the video), or even a common wine glass, the ISO glass is perfect.
I would say that it’s a versatile wine to be savored throughout the entire meal, except for desserts. So, of course, it goes well with the Piedmontese cold cuts, vegetables and eggs appetizers.
It also goes marvelously well with main pasta dishes, especially tajarin, ravioli, risottos, but it is also ideally paired with a cheese platter, steaks and grilled meat.
I would say that it’s an ideal wine for many occasions. It is important to serve it in these glasses at 16° C.
Evolutionary state: Dolcetto is a ready-to-drink wine which however, can continue to evolve, especially since it comes from a land like Monforte, Dogliani; marl and clay soils, with a good dose of limestone, enable it to be preserved for up to 7-8 years.
It is very important to keep the bottle laid down at an ideal cellar temperature.