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Declining Dolcetto?

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Dogliani 2011, Poderi Luigi Einaudi ($19.95, LCBO 232454)
The first vintage of this wine to bear the Dogliani DOCG designation (earlier vintages were Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC). 100% Dolcetto from ten- to 70-year-old vines growing in the San Giacomo and San Luigi vineyards in the Dogliani zone. Fermented in temperature-controlled (28°C) stainless steel tanks for four or five days with regular pump-overs. Transferred to other stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation and eight months’ maturation with repeated rackings. Bottled in the late spring following the harvest. 13.6% ABV.
Constantly evolving nose: blackberry, red currant, earth, pencil shavings, sweet spice, hint of shoe leather and an elusive floral note. Dry, fluid and savoury, with a light but pervasive astringency, fine, velvety tannins and lively acidity (high for a Dolcetto). The sweet-tart fruit twines with slate, ink and old wood flavours and the faintly sour and bitter finish is appetizing in the extreme. On opening, this had me wondering whether it wasn’t the most enjoyable Dolcetto ever. Alas, after 15 or 20 minutes the wine began to flatten out, to lose some of the nuance and vibrancy that made it so special. An early drinker that’s getting a little long in the tooth? Whatever. It was pretty fabulous for a while. (Buy again? Will certainly try to give the 2012 a shot.)

Thanks to Dolcettoman for schlepping the bottle all the way from Ontario.

Written by carswell

May 6, 2014 at 13:40

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. Thank you!
    And you’re welcome.
    Will compare with these notes when I open the remaining bottle. I suspected the one I opened recently was showing its age even though previous bottles, opened late summer 2013, were not at all. The difference six months can make? For me it’s the lack of an intense essential/mineral oil aroma — it would come at you like something in between an aerosol propellent and aniseed. Anisole is my bet (Would be logical right!? but if anisole produces synthetic anethole, which is derived from tree extracts, maybe that is why you noted “old wood” when this wine touches no barrel? Either way so sorry that it’s fading. It’s why I bought the half case.


    May 6, 2014 at 20:34

    • Re the essential/mineral oil aroma, I’d originally written “overtones” in the disclaimer but ended up opting for the “nuance” because the changes struck me as not just aromatic but also textural, so maybe we’re perceiving the same thing there. When posting the note, I also wondered whether what I was describing as “old wood” wouldn’t be better expressed by “felled but still solid tree trunk beginning to decompose on a forest floor” but that’s both a mouthful and not what I had originally jotted down. Did not get any anise per se however. But now you’ve got me wondering about the connection between anisole and TCA, whose A is shorthand for it… Anyway, will look forward to your report — on Twitter, one of your hibernating other outlets or here — on your last bottle. And please let us know when/if the 2012 shows up.


      May 7, 2014 at 09:59

      • Especially since many other Dolcettos are immediately anise-scented, I agree that aniseed is not exactly it, and wasn’t exactly it last summer either. My previous comment tries to convey the fragrance of those first bottles nine months ago … this is the primary reason to never drink alone. I am resigning myself – no one will be able to ID this ester/ether/oil (which I also got from an Einaudi served at BU years ago) except perhaps until I go to Dogliani. Which might necessitate learning Italian first.
        Meanwhile of course I will update from here but that doesn’t look good seeing as LCBO is effectively down to a total of two Dolcettos, one of which is an SAQ standard. Am biding my time with local Baco Noir.
        (That A in TCA is alarming… need a chemist badly just to calm down)


        May 7, 2014 at 11:47

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