2009 Dolcetto Alegría Vineyards
Rich aromas of blue fruit mix with the scent of terroir—wet stone, earth, and minerals—along with a lovely vanillin oak essence. The smooth entry reveals juicy mixed berries, with coffee and fine herbs joining mid-palate. Toasty oak and a hint of blueberry appear toward the finish and linger with the lush berry essence.
In 1991 we planted Dolcetto in our Alegría Vineyards as a field blend with two other grape varieties that also originated in the Piedmont area of northwest Italy: Freisa (a relative of Nebbiolo) and Barbera. We harvest and co-ferment the varieties together to add complexity. Freisa (which means “strawberry” in the local dialect) adds aroma, while the Barbera adds structure. The three varieties thrive in our cool Russian River climate, consistently producing delicious wine that reflects the flavors of the grapes as influenced by our terroir.
The cool growing season allowed the grapes to slowly develop full flavors and good structure. After crushing, we allowed native yeast to begin the fermentation before adding Rhone and Brunello yeasts to different fermenters. The various yeasts highlighted different characteristics (fruitiness, color, and mouthfeel). After fermentation, we aged the wines separately by yeast-type. When combined, the blend was a more complex and interesting wine than either component.