Domenico Clerico Dolcetto Langhe Visadi (2010)
According to Wikipedia, Dolcetto is “considered a light, easy drinking red wine”. CellarTracker calls it “is a lighter bodied red”. Poor, “little” Dolcetto. Nobody takes it seriously. It’s the red-headed stepchild of Piedmont.
Dolcetto is typically planted in the “less desirable” areas of the region, released early, and considerably overshadowed by its Nebbiolo cousins Barol0 and Barbaresco. Heck, Dolcetto is even overshadowed by Barbera, which itself is often unappreciated and disrespected. I can’t feign indignation here, because, well, I probably have been a disrespecter myself. Though I’ve known of the grape for some time now, the most common time I drink it is an an Italian joint with high markup, where the cheap Dolcetto is one of the few affordable options.
As part of this little project, however, I felt obligated to dig deeper. To find the true Dolcetto and set the record straight. So, I ordered this Domenico Clerico – a famed Barolo producer, actually – from Wine Library (for $13!), to start the quest. Boy was I surprised! This wine is neither light nor easy drinking, but it is delicious. It’s big, and powerful – not in a Napa Cap 15% way of course – but considering the pedigree, there’s quite a bit going on… and certainly enough to keep me thinking about Dolcetto going forward.
Decanted 1hr. Amazing aroma; bursting with a plethora of divergent flavors, including smoky pork fat, herbs, dark cherries, plums, black raspberries and cinnamon. On the palate, more dark fruits (cherry, mostly), soap, and toasted spice. Finishes with ample, chalky tannins, and a touch of bitterness. If anything, could use more acidity, and the mid-palate was a tad watery. Still, a very enjoyable wine that seems to have the stuffing to last a few years. Paired well with Pizza w/ Speck, but could certainly stand up to bolder cuisine.