Love is in the air, or perhaps it is the supple scent of white truffles and peaches bringing your heart back to the town (and commune) of Alba as you exhale a Lion’s breath to center your mind and heart. Nestled into the hills of Italy’s North Western region of Piedmont, Alba is considered the gourmet capital of the area and is also home to the confectionery group Ferrero.
The climate in this region is moderate to continental with mountains to the north with provide a rain shadow. The region enjoys long, cold winters and in the summertime it can be stricken with thunderstorms, hail and fog. Perfect weather for stoking the fire and cuddling up with that special someone.
Our favorite grape from this region, Dolcetto, affectionately know as ‘The little sweet one”, is our choice of vinõ for this season of love. It ranges in style depending on producer from soft, subtle and sweet with notes of liquorice and almonds to juicy and quaffing with an attractive bitter edge. Wines from the best producers are well balanced with a lot of juicy notes that will carry you through the night from appetizer to dessert and beyond!
The Dolcetto d’Alba seen here from Massolino is a great choice for Valentines day romance. First produced in 1896 and planted on mixed terroir tending towards lime; fully vinified and macerated in stainless steel keeping this wine fresh and fragrant with playful fruit character. This wine has been described as airy and light and boasts of Satsuma plum and black cherry, as well as aromatic violet, bouncing around the palate. It’s long and refreshing with chalky acidity, in the best Dolcetto manner. This wine definitely comes to play on the palate and will have you wanting more all night long so buy two bottles.
Our Next Dolcetto d’Alba is from Azelia. A single-vineyard Dolcetto from one of the region’s best areas for this variety: Montelupo Albese.
This wine is extremely layered and boasts of flavors such as: Red fruit, blackberry, blueberry, rose, sweet spices, deep fruity and floral flavors which persist for long. This wine is also very aromatic and mineral driven. Aged exclusively in stainless steel to exalt its attractive freshness.
This wine speaks of maturity to us. While Massolino is fun and flirty; Azelia is more adventurous, yet grounded. This is the romance that calls you up late at night, tells you to pack your bags and whisks you off on an adventure that you will talk about for years to come. This wine is about longevity and commitment.
This brings us to our final Dolcetto to speak of for now, and this is the Dead Winemakers Society from Alpha Box & Dice in McLaren Vale South Australia. Inspired by Bartolo Mascarello, a cult winemaker, from Piedmont. His mantra was “No Barrique, No Berlusconi” This was because he was against the use of barriques in Barolo and was against politics.
Planted on light red clay soils which lends to its light aromatics and gentle tannins. The wine is matured in 50% old oak plus 50% stainless steel for 18 months. This wine is full of ripe fruit flavors of Strawberry and plum but also has an herbacious note to it that lingers on the palete.
This wine is fruit forward and very juicy with a hint of herbaiousness that likes to linger. Well balanced like any good night should be this wine will show you a good time and have you calling it first thing in the morning like any good date would!
Happy Valentines day from all of us here at Gone with the wine! May your celebration of love this year be as sweet as the wine in your glass!