2014 Dolcetto Alegría Vineyards
95 points & Platinum Medal - 2017 Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition
92 points & Gold Medal - 2017 Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition Gold Medal - San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
91 points - 2017 California State Fair Wine Competition
Enticing dark plum, Bing cherry, and vanilla aromas fuse with notes of warm brown spices. The elegant entry flows from dark cherry and cream to blackberry pie, accented by traces of cocoa, huckleberry, pomegranate, and orange zest. Dusty tannins and vanillin oak balance the luscious flavors.
When we planted Dolcetto in 1991, only three California wineries produced the varietal. Dolcetto proved to be well-suited to our cool, foggy Russian River Valley microclimate. Our vines produce a full-flavored, age-worthy wine comparable to the best Dolcettos from the Dogliani appellation in the foothills of the Italian Alps.
For balance and complexity, we field-blend and co-ferment with Freisa and Barbera, two other Piedmontese varieties inter-planted with the Dolcetto. (Barbera adds acid; Freisa adds strawberry notes.) The grapes grow in three different areas of the vineyard -- with differences in soil, clones, rootstock, and trellising – that add further complexity. We picked the long west fence row on September 12 (with Freisa). We picked the rest (with Barbera and Freisa) on September 19. The 2014 growing season produced even ripening and optimum flavors with aromas that were readily apparent as we punched down the fermenting grapes. A combination of Brunello and Rhone yeasts enhanced the wine’s character and color.
Barrel aging for 18 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels softened the grapes’ dusty tannins. This wine is a lovely reflection of the terroir of our Alegría Vineyards and the passion with which we maintain our certified sustainable vineyards.