2003 Dolcetto Alegría Vineyards
4+ Stars - Restaurant Wine
Gold Medal - 2005 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Lovely aromas of fresh crushed blueberries mingle with raspberry, toasty oak and floral notes. Framed by a structure of tannin and oak, the delicious flavors of mixed berries, with a blueberry core, blend with nuanced toastiness and citrus. A substantial wine with backbone and character, yet one that is smooth and accessible on the palate.
November 2007 Update: Age has made this incredible vintage of Dolcetto even more delicious. When allowed to breath, the wine reveals its full depth of flavors wrapped in a velvety, plush mouthfeel. A wine that is wonderful now, but can age 2-3 more years.
November 2011 Update: This wine has held up well, with all the richness and beauty remaining. The velvety palate reveals opulent, juicy flavors—blackberry, blueberry, plum, cocoa dust and mocha notes. Might age a bit longer, but tastes so perfect now, why wait?
Dolcetto is a delicious dry red wine that is very popular in the Piedmont area of Italy, but is rare in California. In 1991, we planted Dolcetto in our Alegría Vineyards. We found that it thrives in our cool Russian River Valley climate, which gives the Dolcetto a long growing season that optimizes expression of its varietal characteristics. The 2003 growing season produced a richly flavored wine.
To preserve and enhance Dolcetto’s full-bodied varietal character and to maximize color and flavor, we fermented the grapes in small open-top fermenters, with Brunello yeast and frequent gentle punch-downs. Small amounts of two other grapes from Piemonte that we also grow, Freisa and Barbera, were picked and co-fermented with the Dolcetto to add complexity. Barrel aging for 18 months in a combination of 1-and-2-year-old barrels softened the grapes’ dusty tannins. This wine is a lovely reflection of the terroir of our Alegría Vineyards, and the skill of our consulting winemaker, Alison Green Doran. Only six barrels produced!
Oct. 2 & 21, 2003
Brix at Harvest:
Aged for 18 months in 100% French oak (four 1-year-old barrels, two 2-year-old barrels)
April 28, 2005