Friday, March 7, 2014

Dolcetto and Barbera from San Fereolo in Dogliani

Last night I attended an Italian tasting at the Wine Bottega in the Italian section of Boston known as the North End right before I started up my Italian language lessons for the next few months. They go together so well. Nicoletta Bocca, the winemaker from San Fereolo, was showcasing 5 of her wines. San Fereolo is located in the southern part of the Piedmont region in the Dogliani territory. The winery began in 1992 and Nicoletta began acquiring parts of land that she chose based on the history of the vines there and those that had tended to them along with the qualities that would be instilled to the grapes. The winery has about 29 acres and produces about 45,000 bottles.

Dogliani DOCG wine territory in Piedmont
Compliments of
The grape Dolcetto is typically one that is meant to be consumed young and is an easier drinking wine compared to some of the other wines in the Piedmont region like Barbera and Nebbiolo, but after tasting some of these wines they are approachable now, but with the acidic backbone and fruit present I can see these wines still developing in the bottle. We started off comparing the 2011 and 2012 Dolcetto di Dogliani called Vadiba, which is one of the the subzones in Dogliani. This wine is made from the Dolcetto grape, which stands for “little sweet one”, but is not a sweet wine. The 2012 was a young, easy drinking red with ripe, juicy fruit and bright acidity. The 2011 had a bit more complexity with vanilla hints and has benefited from the extra year in the bottle. Both of these wines are in stainless steel and not oak.

Dolcetto grapes
Dolcetto grapes

Next was the 2007 San Fereolo made from 100% Dogliano Dolcetto, but this wine is aged in big slavonian barrels. For me this was my favorite wine of the night due to its depth, toastiness, subtle tannins and richness from the fruit with a little spice. This was a much more developed wine compared to the previous two dolcettos due to its barrel aging and the vines are 40-70 year old vines.

Lastly we tried the 2001 and 2006 Austri wines, named after the vineyard site. These wines are made up of 90% Barbera and 10% Nebbiolo. These wines had a good acidic backbone with nice red fruit, but lower on the tannin impact than the Dolcetto, but adding the small percentage of nebbiolo helped round out the wine.

I was very impressed by the wines that Nicoletta produces and it goes to show you that trying wines from a variety of producers is key because every winemaker has their own style and you can be pleasantly surprised if you venture out.

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