Have you ever wondered when is the best time to drink a wine and will it get better with age? This week Bill and I discuss an article written by Courtney Schiessl titled, how to tell if your wine will age. The Cotes du Rhone region is on a four year streak of excellence. For that matter so is much of Europe. Dave McIntyre pens a thought provoking piece for the Washington Post. The premise of which is, what your wine choices say about you. Thanks to everyone for listening. Cheers!
The wine of the week is the 2016 Chionetti Briccolero Dogliani. This is a Dolcetto (dohl-Chet-toh) from the area around the town of Dogliani (dohl-Yan-nee). The Dolcetto of Dogliani are so well known, that the best wines from the area are simply labeled as Dogliani, as this wine is. Briccolero (bree-Koh-layro) denotes a single vineyard. Dolcetto is grown though out Piedmont and Liguria, which occupy the northwest region of Italy. In Piedmont it’s typically cultivated in areas where Nebbiolo cannot be counted on to ripen reliably. Here in the land of Barolo and Barbaresco, Dolcetto is the wine the locals drink, while they are waiting for their Nebbiolo based wines to mature. Dolcetto is a grape with low acidity but it can have substantial tannins.
Founded in 1912 by Giuseppe Chionetti, the current owner Quinto Chionetti organically farms 34.5 acres. He produces three single vineyard wines, San Luigi, La Costa and Briccolero. The Briccolero vineyard sits on a hill, with southeast exposure, above his home and is dominated by a large pine tree at the top. With lightly colored, calcareous soils, the vines are guyot trained and low to the ground. The grapes are hand harvested and the wines, 100% Dolcetto, are crafted using spontaneous fermentations and no filtering. The Briccolero ages for one year in cement tanks with 10 to 15% in large oak barrels.
In the glass it’s a deep purple color. Aromas of violets, black fruits and licorice jump out of the glass. On the palate, blackberries, black plums and mulberries. It’s medium bodied, the fruit deeply concentrated and intense, yet all the while silky smooth. Remarkable length and persistence on the finish, Chionetti wines are known for their ability to age gracefully, but it drinks so well now I can’t envision any of the bottles I purchased making it past their third birthday. 14% alc - $26 - $30