‘Little sweet one’ AKA Dolcetto, is the third red grape in the Piedmont. It sits behind Nebbiolo and Barbera but because it’s easier to grow – prolific and an early ripener – possibly doesn’t get the attention it needs to make a great wine. However, Mascarello has made a good wine with this example. Dolcetto d’Alba ’13 DOC, Wine Society £13, is a characterful wine, made by a high quality wine producer.
Bright red in colour, typical of many Italian wines, there is a slight purple tint on the rim and this youth is carried through onto the fresh, light nose with its attractive acidity. Despite its name, the palate is dry, of medium length and gluggable. It suits tomato based dishes – pastas, pizzas – and may stand up to deeper flavours which will be lifted by its youth.
We were both impressed by this wine, not so much as to buy again but it’s interesting to see that it’s being planted in pockets in other parts of the New World. The grape skins are very dark, suggesting tannins, which may, under careful vinification, produce a more complex wine. The DOC has been featured in Decanter magazine as being a rising star; it’s interesting to note that all critics are impressed by its more ‘serious’ style. Whether it deserves and maintains that attention will be interesting to see.
[Richard: this wine was purchased on our recent trip to the WS showroom. Mascarello is best know for Barolo and the vines are situated at the top of a slope used for nebbiolo. Not much to add to Geoff’s comments except that I thought the nose had a rather bitter, not that pleasant tang I couldn’t pin down.]