Twelve Nightcaps Before Christmas – The 10th Nightcap

image_510254_squareNightcap #10: Pelissero Dolcetto d’Alba Munfrina 2011, Piedmont, Italy $18

It must be difficult being the person nobody has heard of from a family of stars. I imagine this is how the dolcetto grape would feel if only it could tell us. Dolcetto is from Piedmont, home to such stars as barolo and barbaresco, fabulous overachievers made from the nebbiolo grape. These wines are well sought after and can command steep prices. Piedmont is also home to barbera, the most widely planted grape in this area and an increasingly popular variety, although not in the same league as nebbiolo. While I would not turn my nose up at a bottle of these beauties, I have a soft spot for the underdog. In a region where 2/3 of the wine produced is red, and most have high acidity, dolcetto is living in big brother’s shadow. An early ripener not naturally high in acidity, dolcetto is grown at higher altitudes than nebbiolo in order to help preserve what acidity it does has.  

Pelissero Dolcetto d’Alba Munfrina is an opulent red purple. It has the rustic earthy notes typical of this variety (and much appreciated), with black cherry and spices dancing around a core lightly laced with eucalyptus. The experience concludes with a delightfully lingering finish. Definitely not just your father’s pizza wine. Salute!