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TomHill

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NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by TomHill » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:25 pm

Eric's article in today's NYTimes is on Dolcetto:
NYTimes:Dolcetto

He (rightfully so) heaps scorn on people who must drink only the classic iconic wines and foreswear more plebian wines like Dolcetto.
Interesting that their two top Dolcettos are Dolcetto di Dogliani...may favorite area for Dolcetto.
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Clint Hall » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:39 am

What Asimove has to say about why the Dogliani are better makes sense.
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Jon Peterson » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:29 pm

Thanks for the post. I did read the article and, in so doing, realized that I have been quilty at times of wanting to drink only the best, like Barolos, for example. Part of this is because I work in a wine shop and want to maximize any employee perks I may get through more expensive wine as opposed to the opposite. But now, I think I'll look at Dolcetto and try a few that we sell. Unfortunately, we do not carry the majority of the ones mentioned by Asimov, and most are from the Alba region which did not fare particularly well.
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by James Roscoe » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:59 pm

Dolcetto is great with everyday comfort food like meatloaf, hamburger, pot roast, etc...
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Tim York » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:02 am

I come belatedly to this thread but I think that Asimov's observations deserve more discussion.

I think that I derive as much pleasure in a different way from young fruity simple "fun" wines as I do from more complex and "important" wines with appropriate age on them. And the fact that they generally cost less doesn't hurt. In the "fun" category fall typically, to name only reds, Beaujolais, Dolcetto, young Loire CabFranc from sandy soils, SW French delights like Fronton and Marcillac, lighter examples from the Rhône, Languedoc, Roussilon, Tuscany, Montepulciano d'A and so on. Spain compromises many potentially "fun" wine with too much oak. I don't know many "fun" Bordeaux and that may account for their falling share in my consumption.

I think that it was Nadine de Rothschild who boasted that she only drank 20+ year old Mouton-R. What terrible tunnel vision :shock: . Or is it snobbery :( ?
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Craig Winchell » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:40 am

I'm sure it's an untruth, unless she only drinks at home. But she is a winery owner, and the statement is great for PR. And the fact is that she has access, and already owns the wine as opposed to having to purchase it. I certainly drink mostly my own wines when I have them because they are cheap to me and at hand. And I figure if she wants a Mouton that's tastily drinkable, it must have a certain age on it.

It was said that Yul Brynner, on tour, only drank a specific brand of wine and vintage, and 2 cases was required in his dressing room at all times. While the drinking seems stagnant, I'm sure such outrageous demands actually fueled his exclusivity and justified theaters paying the big bucks per appearance.
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Mark Lipton » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:15 am

Tim York wrote: In the "fun" category fall typically, to name only reds, Beaujolais, Dolcetto, young Loire CabFranc from sandy soils, SW French delights like Fronton and Marcillac, lighter examples from the Rhône, Languedoc, Roussilon, Tuscany, Montepulciano d'A and so on.


Tim, I also have increasingly dipped into such wines, labeled by an importer acquaintance as "glou-glou" wines. Do you feel that even the best examples of Marcillac can be labeled as vins de soif? I love Marcillac, but my bottles of Causse Marines (now, sadly, no longer made) and Dom. du Cros are pretty big and seem to demand time in the cellar. And do tell about Fronton. Whose do you like?

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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Tim York » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:07 am

Mark Lipton wrote:
Tim York wrote: In the "fun" category fall typically, to name only reds, Beaujolais, Dolcetto, young Loire CabFranc from sandy soils, SW French delights like Fronton and Marcillac, lighter examples from the Rhône, Languedoc, Roussilon, Tuscany, Montepulciano d'A and so on.


Tim, I also have increasingly dipped into such wines, labeled by an importer acquaintance as "glou-glou" wines. Do you feel that even the best examples of Marcillac can be labeled as vins de soif? I love Marcillac, but my bottles of Causse Marines (now, sadly, no longer made) and Dom. du Cros are pretty big and seem to demand time in the cellar. And do tell about Fronton. Whose do you like?

Mark Lipton


Mark, the Fronton estate whose wines I love quaffing is Château la Colombière and specifically its cuvée Vinum. Here are my notes on its range from a tasting in November 2011 -

Château La Colombière, Fronton, near Toulouse
This estate, run by the pleasant young Cauvin couple, uses biodynamic methods http://www.chateaulacolombiere.com/english/ . The principle grape variety in Fronton is Négrette but other varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are authorised in a blend. Of the wines shown here, all AOC Fronton, only Réserve included 20% of Cabernets, both Sauvignon and franc.
I loved Vinum 2010 (€6) for its exuberant savoury and tangy fruit, earthiness, lively acidity and hints of old lace; I bought some; 15.5/20+++. Réserve 2010 (€7) was smoother and more civilised but still showed a lot of Négrette character; 15.5/20++. Coste Rouge 2009 (€10) was deeper and more structured and complex showing attractive fruit impregnated with cassis and leather notes; this one should improve with ageing; 16/20 now.


I recently had the Vinum 2011 and thought it showed less grip than the 2010, though the fruit was delicious.

Marcillac Lo Sang de Païs 2009 – Domaine du Cros, Philippe Teulier was the wine which opened my eyes to that appellation about 18 months ago. I didn't think that it needed any more time but perhaps like Colombière he makes other tougher cuvées.
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Andrew Bair » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:34 pm

Hi Tom - Thank you for the article. I actually read it last week, but was so busy then that I never got to comment on it until now.

As someone who really enjoys Dolcetto - after Nebbiolo, of course, it's my second favorite Piedmontese grape, even above Barbera - I've read the hype for Dogliani for a number of years now, and have yet to be convinced of its superiority over Alba for Dolcetto. Are there some very good producers in Dogliani? - Absolutely - see Anna Maria (not Marziano) Abbona, Chionetti, and Einaudi. Chionetti would make my top 5 Dolcetto producers; Einaudi and Cascina Corte would both be close behind. Then again, I also wonder if Dogliani producers simply take the Dolcetto grape more seriously than a lot of producers do in other DOC(G)s. Unlike much of Piedmont, Dogliani doesn't have any particular reputation for Nebbiolo, so its better producers are putting their best efforts into their Dolcetti.

There are certainly some impressive Dolcettos from Alba as well, however. I was really surprised that Eric Asimov didn't like the Roagna more, for example, because I think that it is one of the best.Besides, it only costs in the mid-teens -how can you go wrong? A number of others like Cappellano, Giacosa, and Massolino make excellent Dolcetti d'Alba. The best that I have had from anywhere is Brovia's Solatio Brovia, although one could just as easily say that it is atypical since it is a late harvested version. It's certainly not a Dolcetto that you rush out and drink within a couple of years of the vintage. I had a 2000 Solatio last year that was showing great, yet had the stuff to last for another decade or maybe two. (I've yet to try Poderi Colla's Bricco del Drago, which actually has some Nebbiolo in it; apparently, it is every as serious and ageworthy as the Solatio Brovia.)

Diano d'Alba is another DOCG trying to make a name for its Dolcetti, but they are hard to find in the US. The only one that I've had, from Bricco Maiolica, was very nice. I have also read that Ovada used to be more highly regarded for Dolcetto, but the one Dolcetto d’Ovada that I have encountered was quite mediocre. The Aldo Contero Dolcetto Masante that Eric mentions is labeled as Langhe DOC.

One Dolcetto that I actually happen to think is overrated is that of Roberto Voerzio. Then again, I find Voerzio's wines to be generally too ripe and internationally styled for my liking.
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Thanks...

by TomHill » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:24 am

Andrew Bair wrote:Hi Tom - Thank you for the article. I actually read it last week, but was so busy then that I never got to comment on it until now.
As someone who really enjoys Dolcetto - after Nebbiolo, of course, it's my second favorite Piedmontese grape, even above Barbera - I've read the hype for Dogliani for a number of years now, and have yet to be convinced of its superiority over Alba for Dolcetto. Are there some very good producers in Dogliani? - Absolutely - see Anna Maria (not Marziano) Abbona, Chionetti, and Einaudi. Chionetti would make my top 5 Dolcetto producers; Einaudi and Cascina Corte would both be close behind. Then again, I also wonder if Dogliani producers simply take the Dolcetto grape more seriously than a lot of producers do in other DOC(G)s. Unlike much of Piedmont, Dogliani doesn't have any particular reputation for Nebbiolo, so its better producers are putting their best efforts into their Dolcetti.
There are certainly some impressive Dolcettos from Alba as well, however. I was really surprised that Eric Asimov didn't like the Roagna more, for example, because I think that it is one of the best.Besides, it only costs in the mid-teens -how can you go wrong? A number of others like Cappellano, Giacosa, and Massolino make excellent Dolcetti d'Alba. The best that I have had from anywhere is Brovia's Solatio Brovia, although one could just as easily say that it is atypical since it is a late harvested version. It's certainly not a Dolcetto that you rush out and drink within a couple of years of the vintage. I had a 2000 Solatio last year that was showing great, yet had the stuff to last for another decade or maybe two. (I've yet to try Poderi Colla's Bricco del Drago, which actually has some Nebbiolo in it; apparently, it is every as serious and ageworthy as the Solatio Brovia.)
Diano d'Alba is another DOCG trying to make a name for its Dolcetti, but they are hard to find in the US. The only one that I've had, from Bricco Maiolica, was very nice. I have also read that Ovada used to be more highly regarded for Dolcetto, but the one Dolcetto d’Ovada that I have encountered was quite mediocre. The Aldo Contero Dolcetto Masante that Eric mentions is labeled as Langhe DOC.
One Dolcetto that I actually happen to think is overrated is that of Roberto Voerzio. Then again, I find Voerzio's wines to be generally too ripe and internationally styled for my liking.


Thanks for your comments, Andrew.
I, too, like the Roagna quite a bit. I've only had two Diano d'Alba Dolcetti. The Roviola was horribly corked. The Rizieri was quite nice...but just that. But they are hard to find, as you say.
Tom
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Re: NYTimes: Asimov Talks Dolcetto

by Mark Lipton » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:38 pm

Tim York wrote:Mark, the Fronton estate whose wines I love quaffing is Château la Colombière and specifically its cuvée Vinum. Here are my notes on its range from a tasting in November 2011 -

Château La Colombière, Fronton, near Toulouse
This estate, run by the pleasant young Cauvin couple, uses biodynamic methods http://www.chateaulacolombiere.com/english/ . The principle grape variety in Fronton is Négrette but other varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are authorised in a blend. Of the wines shown here, all AOC Fronton, only Réserve included 20% of Cabernets, both Sauvignon and franc.
I loved Vinum 2010 (€6) for its exuberant savoury and tangy fruit, earthiness, lively acidity and hints of old lace; I bought some; 15.5/20+++. Réserve 2010 (€7) was smoother and more civilised but still showed a lot of Négrette character; 15.5/20++. Coste Rouge 2009 (€10) was deeper and more structured and complex showing attractive fruit impregnated with cassis and leather notes; this one should improve with ageing; 16/20 now.


I recently had the Vinum 2011 and thought it showed less grip than the 2010, though the fruit was delicious.


Thanks very much for that response, Tim. I see from wine-searcher that these wines are available at one of my favorite US retailers (Chambers St Wines in NYC) so I will give them a shot in due course. They also have a vin gris and a Bellouguet cuvée -- have you had this latter?

Marcillac Lo Sang de Païs 2009 – Domaine du Cros, Philippe Teulier was the wine which opened my eyes to that appellation about 18 months ago. I didn't think that it needed any more time but perhaps like Colombière he makes other tougher cuvées.


I have his 2008 VV Marcillac, which in my one encounter was a very deep and powerful expression of Fer Servadou and not at all "glou-glou." I find myself mentally associating Fer Servadou with Cab Franc, and whereas the 2008 Causse Marines was like a good quality Chinon made for near-term drinking (Baudry Domaine?), both the 2009 Causse Marines and 2008 Dom du Cros were more akin to Cab Franc from Bordeaux: intense, roasted and tannic. I'm giving my remaining bottles a few more years to round into form. We'll see if that's the right move...

Mark Lipton

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