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Bruno Giacosa 2001 Dolcetto d’Alba, Piemonte

Posted by on June 10th

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Sometimes it’s good to start the new year with a bit of auld lang syne, going back to an old friend whom you’ve neglected for one reason or another. Such is the case with Piemonte’s “little sweet one,” a one-time suitor for my vinous affections who too many times dashed my hopes with a disappointing bottle, be it from Alba, Dogliani… wherever.

As with Barbera, the other everyday wine of the Langhe hills, Dolcetto can be frustratingly pedestrian, drinkable decent, or, in the skillful hands of a producer such as Giacosa, a renewal of faith in the grape’s potential.

Dusky, dry, and somewhat reserved fruits that begin on the nose follow through with what is at first surprisingly chalky tannins. Sip by sip, as the tannins pull back, a spectrum of concentrated, flavorful red fruits emerge led by raspberries that verge on the edge of sweetness, complemented by a pleasant level of acidity. The finish turns slightly “dark,” revealing a faint taste of bitterness that belies the varietal’s name.

An acquaintance worth renewing over a plate of hardy Piemontese fare. Tajarin with truffles, anyone? Or maybe check out another wine review?

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