Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Dolcetto, an early-ripening, deep-coloured, low-acid red grape variety cultivated almost exclusively in the provinces of Cuneo and Alessandria in the north west Italian region of piemonte. The wines produced are soft, round, fruity, and fragrant with flavours of liquorice and almonds. Most are designed to be drunk in their first two or three years, although well-made bottles of Dolcetto d’Alba and Dolcetto d’Ovada can easily last at least five years. Dolcetto therefore plays an important role in the economy of various estates, providing a product which can be marketed early while the wines based on barbera or, particularly, nebbiolo grapes demand extended ageing in cask and bottle. Unlike Barbera, it is rarely blended with other varieties, chiefly because it is so rarely planted outside varietally-minded Piemonte.