When I’m unfamiliar with a wine varietal, I have this horrible habit of assuming that the sound of the name must be aligned to the traits. When it came to Dolcetto, it made me think of a rich, dessert – like dulce de leche – so I assumed that it would be a full-bodied, rich, red wine. So apparently, I wasn’t too far from the truth on the actual name translation: Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one”, though is quite deceptive when indicating the traits of this wine.
Dolcetto is traditionally grown in the Piedmont region of Italy and is known to produce medium-bodied red wines with soft tannins and minimal acidity. However, the common aromas and flavors of tart cherry and unripened berries give a perception of high acidity and can be a bit sharp to the taste.
This 2017 Marziano Abbono Dolcetto di Dogliani San Luigi was extremely consistent with the typical Dolcetto tasting notes. In the glass, the wine has a ruby appearance with a fuschia rim. The aromas were of tart cherry and French oak. In the taste, tart cherry was prominent along with white pepper. The wine was neither acidic or tannic but gave the impression of acidity due tot he prominence of tart cherry. To be honest, this wine seemed a bit difficult to enjoy due to the tartness and is best enjoyed when paired with food. I recommend pairing with a red seafood stew like a traditional Italian Cioppino or a clam or conch chowder – which of course must be accompanied by a killer sourdough bread!
This Dolcetto retails for $15-19 and I gave this wine a 3 cork rating.