2012 Dolcetto Alegría Vineyards
90 pts - Zinfandel Chronicles
The sensuous Italianate nature of this varietal is prominent in our 2012 vintage. Aromas of dusty red fruit and baked cherry pie mingle with hints of blueberry and an earthy mineral essence. Juicy flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and dark cherry are edged with gentle tannins and mocha-laced oak. Medium bodied and bone dry, the wine offers delicious traces of ripe plum, eucalyptus, and coffee in the finish.
In 1991 we planted Dolcetto as a field-blend with Freisa and Barbera, in three different areas of our vineyards, on three distinct soils types. These varieties, native to the Piedmont region of Italy, thrive in our Russian River Valley climate, creating a lush, vibrant, ageable wine, evoking the best of Italian Dogliani. Freisa adds strawberry notes, while Barbera adds some acid structure, to Dolcetto’s earthy black cherry character.
Growing conditions in 2012 were excellent. Early bud break, no spring frost, and mild summer weather produced an evenly ripe crop with mature tannins and flavors.
We picked in two separate lots, based on ripeness. After a three-day cold soak, to let natural enzymes extract color and flavor, we co-fermented the varieties with native yeast and a French yeast that enhances mouthfeel. Following fermentation, we combined the two lots and aged the wine for 16 months in Bill’s carefully chosen combination of French, Hungarian, and American barrels, to integrate flavors, smooth the tannins, and to showcase Dolcetto’s distinctive character.