2004 Dolcetto Alegría Vineyards
The alluring aroma has lovely hints of blueberry and orange peel mingled with milk chocolate, cherry, and floral notes. In the mouth, bright cherry and ripe blueberry flow into mixed berry/cranberry mid-palate. A jammy essence adds an intriguing dimension to the toasty finish.
November 2007 Update: The additional bottle aging has softened the tannins and allowed the rich, opulent flavors to shine through. Drinkable now, or can be cellared for a few more years.
November 2011 Update: The aromas and flavors remain true to the release date tasting notes. Rich, smooth and delicious with plenty of youthful tannins and acidity to allow for additional cellaring. Yet, when a wine tastes this good, it’s tough to tuck it away. If enjoyed now, give it a little time to open and completely reveal the depth of its beauty.
Dolcetto is a delicious dry red wine that is very popular in the Piedmont area of Italy, but it is still rare in California. We planted it in our Alegría Vineyards in 1991, and we’ve found that Dolcetto thrives in our cool Russian River Valley climate. The long growing season optimizes expression of Dolcetto’s varietal characteristics. 2004 gave us another richly flavored vintage.
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. For added complexity, we picked Freisa and Barbera, two other Piemontese grape varieties that are planted with the Dolcetto and co-fermented them. Barrel aging for 18 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak 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 7 1/2 barrels were produced.
September 24 & 29, 2004
Brix at Harvest:
Aged for 18 months in 70% French and 30% Hungarian oak barrels; 30% new oak
March 27, 2006