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Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:43 pm

I found a 2006 dolcetto D'Alba at North Berkeley Imports. Should be interesting, and I will post a note. Just interested in others' experience with "older" Dolcettos!
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:52 pm

Never.

I never buy more than a bottle or two. They don't even get added to CellarTracker. I just slurp 'em down, and reload when I want more.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Dale Williams » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:32 pm

Had a few that lasted (I think about 15 years the oldest), but never one that I thought better than on release. Even though Dolcetto can be pretty tannic, the tannic ones seem to fade fruit faster than they resolve tannins. But that' s just me, I know some age.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:56 pm

Will report back on my experience. Not an expensive wine, so worth the risk!

The specific wine in question is the Ronchi 2006 "Rosario" D d'Alba. A quick Google is not promising. "Prominent oak" is mentioned on the two reviews I found. :?

And, it is North Berkeley Oakports, so...We'll see.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Clint Hall » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:46 pm

Short answer: No.

But do you think if they gave some Dolcetto the same kind and considerate treatment as Crus Beaujolais they might end up with something ageable? But then the Piemontese already have so much good red stuff of the serious sort that it might be best just to leave Dolcetto as it is, a simple, gulpable, inexpensive food friendly quaffer.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Lou Kessler » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:22 pm

I have and they really don't seem to improve.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Oliver McCrum » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:38 am

Dale Williams wrote:Had a few that lasted (I think about 15 years the oldest), but never one that I thought better than on release. Even though Dolcetto can be pretty tannic, the tannic ones seem to fade fruit faster than they resolve tannins. But that' s just me, I know some age.


It's odd, given the evident tannins that the best Dolcettos show, but they don't age. I love Dolcetto but I always drink it on the young side.
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Yup....

by TomHill » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:09 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:
Dale Williams wrote:Had a few that lasted (I think about 15 years the oldest), but never one that I thought better than on release. Even though Dolcetto can be pretty tannic, the tannic ones seem to fade fruit faster than they resolve tannins. But that' s just me, I know some age.


It's odd, given the evident tannins that the best Dolcettos show, but they don't age. I love Dolcetto but I always drink it on the young side.


Yup, Oliver/Dale. I've had some that were pretty hard/tannic & I thought that, surely, they will shed their tannins and turn into
something pretty interesting. But it just never seems to happen. They seem to survive and shed some of the tannins, but just don't develop
much in the way of secondary characteristics. Seems strange to me.
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Re: Yup....

by Rahsaan » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:45 am

Almost enough to make one believe in the old saw about certain grapes being more 'noble' than others!
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Robin Garr » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:17 pm

Joining the chorus, I'm fairly familiar with Dolcetto, enjoy it. and have never had any luck with aging it. Nor have I ever visited a producer who seeks to do so or who keeps any well-cellared bottles on hand to pull out for visitors. Dolcetto simply seems to be one of those grapes that makes a tannic wine without the longevity on the fruit side that's needed to outlive the tannins and evolve into something interesting. The fruit fades, the tannins stay, and that's the end of the story.

In an interesting side note, I've long been bemused by the curious circumstance that Dolcetto and Barbera d'Asti, which we might call Piemonte's "short-term" reds to be enjoyed while the Nebbiolo-based big boys are maturing, are opposites in terms of their acid profile: Dolcetto is high tannin, low acid. Barbera is low tannin, high acid.

"Hey," I once speculated. "What if I took a splash of each and mixed them in one glass? Would it end up with just-right tannins and just-right acidity?"

The short answer is, naah. Don't try this at home, all you get is a glass of boring red. :mrgreen:
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Brian K Miller » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:39 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Joining the chorus, I'm fairly familiar with Dolcetto, enjoy it. and have never had any luck with aging it. Nor have I ever visited a producer who seeks to do so or who keeps any well-cellared bottles on hand to pull out for visitors. Dolcetto simply seems to be one of those grapes that makes a tannic wine without the longevity on the fruit side that's needed to outlive the tannins and evolve into something interesting. The fruit fades, the tannins stay, and that's the end of the story.

In an interesting side note, I've long been bemused by the curious circumstance that Dolcetto and Barbera d'Asti, which we might call Piemonte's "short-term" reds to be enjoyed while the Nebbiolo-based big boys are maturing, are opposites in terms of their acid profile: Dolcetto is high tannin, low acid. Barbera is low tannin, high acid.

"Hey," I once speculated. "What if I took a splash of each and mixed them in one glass? Would it end up with just-right tannins and just-right acidity?"

The short answer is, naah. Don't try this at home, all you get is a glass of boring red. :mrgreen:


I'm not sure, but I there was this little winery in Auburn. California (in a cool 19th century cave-like garage right on the main drag) who blended these grapes with others. I liked the wine because it was odd and funky and still fruity.
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Re: Yup....

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:02 pm

Rahsaan wrote:Almost enough to make one believe in the old saw about certain grapes being more 'noble' than others!


Exactly. On the other hand, really good young Dolcetto is extremely useful food wine, which is a noble thing.

I was in a restaurant in the middle of Dogliani, the original home of Dolcetto, and I asked the proprietor why none of the (many) Dolcettos on their list showed a vintage. She looked at me as if I was a simpleton and said 'because they're all from the most recent vintage.'
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Brian K Miller » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:46 pm

OK.

The experiment has been...consumed. Can't say this bottle was what I expected. Absolutely NOT tired or old tasting at. A ton of fruit. Very ripe, rich flavors. Oak was there but not as dominant as others reported when consumed young.

Would I buy the Ronchi "Rosario" D d'Alba again? Nah.

Not very experienced with Dolcetto, but my limited past bottles have been on the lighter and more savory-berry side. THIS wine was basically the LODI EARTHQUAKE ZIN of Dolcettos. 14.5% alcohol...and you taste it! Jammy, jammy fruit. BIG fruit. Berries. A touch of earth, but dominated by the super-ripe fruit.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Andrew Bair » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:39 pm

Thank you for the note, Brian. I've never had any of Ronchi's wines.

There are some Dolcettos that age quite well in fact. The oldest that I've ever had was a 2000 Brovia Dolcetto d'Alba Solatio Brovia in 2012 - it was drinking very well, and I had no doubt that I would last through the end of the decade. The Solatio Brovia is atypical, however, in the sense that it contains some dried grapes.

More traditionally made Dolcetti that seem to be capable of lasting close to a decade, or even longer, are those from Roagna (always a great value) and Chionetti (hard to find; supposedly, some vintages can last for 20+ years, but the only one that I've had was young. Wish I had bought another to put aside.) Cappellano is another one that seems like that it could last for at least several years.

There's also the Bricco del Drago from Poderi Colla, which is noted for being able to age for 25 or more years. That being said, it actually contains about 15% Nebbiolo, which probably supplies some of the structure. I've never been able to try this wine yet, but it is definitely up there on my list.

Finally, with regard to North Berkeley's Piedmontese selections: Castello di Nieve is pretty traditional, and quite a good producer.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Clint Hall » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:39 am

Andrew, what are your good-when-old Dolcetti like when they are young? Are they approachable then or closed like their Barolo and Barbaresco neighbors?
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Brian K Miller » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:12 pm

I have tried Brovia as a new release. It's about as different from the Rochia as one can get. Very savory and minerally rather than fruity. Not little or sweet at all!
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Victorwine » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:14 pm

Robin wrote;
"Hey," I once speculated. "What if I took a splash of each and mixed them in one glass? Would it end up with just-right tannins and just-right acidity?"

Hi Robin,
Interesting, not sure if this wine is co-fermented or not, but Opici Wine Group has a Viberti Dolba Langhe DOC (The name Dolba being a combination of Dolcetto and Barbera) 60% Barbera; 40% Dolcetto in their portfolio. Wine Spectator gave it 89 points!
“Great freshness in this sleek red boosts the blackberry, cherry and herbal notes. Just lacks the oomph on the backend to be outstanding. Barbera and Dolcetto. Drink now. 1,833 cases made” BS 4/2011
(I think this note was for the 2009 vintage)

Salute
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Jenise » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:48 pm

Only aged dolcetto I've had was a Giacosa about six years out. Bought it myself figuring that if anyone could impress me with dolcetto, it would be them. Wasn't impressed, though.
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Bill Spohn » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:27 pm

Dolcetto came in two different styles.

The original and the one David refers to in terms of suitability for quaffing, was basically a soft fruity young wine meant for tossing back within a year or two after it was made. Definitely the 'Bojo Nuvo' of Piemonte.

The Parkerized version (although I can't really tie this one specifically to him) is a much heavier version with significant tannin, good fruit, yet it almost always fails to improve, so when you do age it, you are just hoping the tannin abates before the fruit does so that it drinks in about the way the original version almost always did.

God (and I don't mean RP) only knows why they tried to make this delightful; wine a more 'serious' wine, possibly an example of it that showed some of those aspects got better ratings or something. I wish they'd go back to the original version and I wish it was priced where it used to be, under $20 instead of heading for $30 up here in some cases.

What next, late harvest Lambrusco? Reserve Lagrein?
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Brian K Miller » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:53 pm

Well, luckily my Lodi Zin version of a dolcetto was $19, so not great loss! :twisted:
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Re: Has anyone ever tried "older" Dolcetto

by Rahsaan » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:24 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Reserve Lagrein?


The Mayr Nusserhof Lagrein Riserva has always struck me as a very enjoyable and 'authentic' wine, even if I haven't actually been to Bolzen, so what do I know.

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