Sunday, February 24, 2008

Last Night's Tipple

Man, that picture didn't come through well at all. Oh, well. That's the best I can do.

Anyway, continuing with the dolcetto theme, last night I opened a bottle of 2005 Chionetti Dolcetto di Dogliani San Luigi. The DOC is Dolcetto di Dogliani, and San Luigi is the name of the vineyard where the grapes were grown. In the Dolcetto d'Alba DOC, dolcetto is usually a secondary or tertiary grape, planted in less favorable locations by growers who reserve their best spots for nebbiolo and barbera. This is less frequently the case in the Dolcetto di Dogliani DOC -- more frequently, growers plant dolcetto and only dolcetto. This naturally causes them to take the grape more seriously than do some growers in the Dolcetto d'Alba DOC, and people who actually know something about this say that Dolcetto di Dogliani wines are typically heavier, more intense, and more age-worthy than Dolcetto d'Alba wines. Quinto Chionetti is a respected Dogliani producer, and he makes three single-vineyard dolcettos: Briccolero, Vigna la Costa, and San Luigi. My friendly, neighborhood liquor and wine superstore only carries the San Luigi, so that's all I can try (although I think that it would be fascinating to compare all three). It cost around $24 a bottle, making it about as expensive a dolcetto as you can find.

When first poured, this wine didn't have much aroma at all. With some vigorous swirling, however, it really opened up. When it did, it had the same copper penny aroma as the Gagliardo I had previously. In addition, there was a big rose petal component and some meatiness. Yes, meatiness. I'm not sure exactly which meat -- maybe ham, maybe bacon -- but it's there. I like it a whole lot. On the palate, there's a lot of dark fruit and a lot of drying tannins. With the Gagliardo, at first it was a bit short -- I swallowed it, and it was gone. That changed with some time in the glass, but it was a bit disconcerting nonetheless. That wasn't a problem with this Chionetti. I like this wine a lot. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was a great value, but it was very tasty; and I did enjoy it more than the Gagliardo (although they were close).

No comments: