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Italian wine and grape guide : Dolcetto

Dolcetto

The Dolcetto grape has uncertain origin, it is thought it originates in Piedmont, where in the Monferrato area and Liguria it is also called Ormeasco.

The origin of the name is also uncertain: the prevailing theory says that its name is the result of the high sweetness of ripe grapes, dolcetto in Italian indicates a small biscuit, pastry, and whilst Barbera has more acidity and Nebbiolo more tannin, Dolcetto wines have little acidity and a recognisable bouquet, with a softer taste. A second theory believes its name to be the translation in Italian of the Piedmont word “dosset”.

Dolcetto is a red grape and the berry is black, medium, round but not uniform with thin, waxy, bluish-black skin. The bunch is conical, elongated, generally winged, and sparse with a medium, usually lobed leaf and the Dolcetto grape is characterised by early ripening (late September) and good yield.

Dolcetto wines tend to be of a ruby red colour, sometimes with violet hues, with a characteristic nose with intense aromas of liquorice, blackberries and cherries, sometimes showing floral notes, violet in particular. Dolcetto wines are dry, medium-bodied, lively and soft, rarely aged.

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