Dolcetto is a grape that likes to be different. It flourishes on sites that its Piedmontese counterparts - Barbera and Nebbiolo - tend to dislike. While those grapes produce wines with a bright acidity (and often ripen so late that winemakers are driven to blind panic) Dolcetto produces low-acid wines and is ready to harvest early.
Its characteristic flavors are violets, prunes, liquorice and cherry, with a bitter, almond-like finish. The best Dolcetto wines can be found in Italy, though some very successful examples exist in America and Australia.
Darkly colored wines with deep black cherry, prune and licorice flavors
Wines to Try
Gianfranco Alessandria, Bric de Bersan
Piedmont, some areas of California
- Dolcetto means 'little sweet one' - an ironic name that does not suit its biting licorice flavors at all.
- In the early 18th century Barnabà Centurione sent a case of Dolcetto to King George II of Great Britain.
- Australia has some of the world's oldest Dolcetto vines - some dating as far back as 1860.