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2021 Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba “Sörì Cristina”

Il Palazzotto
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You might be surprised to learn that throughout much of history, Dolcetto was considered the finest of Piemonte’s red wines. Today, no fewer than six Dolcetto-specific appellations (Asti, Alba, Acqui, Diano d’Alba, Dogliani, and Ovada) exist in the region to show off the many delightful expressions this grape achieves across different terroirs.
     While styles vary across these diverse growing areas, perhaps no Dolcetto “Dolcettoes” as hard as those from Diano d’Alba. This little hilltop town is one of the eleven communes of the Barolo DOCG, and yet most of its sloping marl vineyards are not planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production, but rather to Dolcetto, whose early-ripening nature is perfectly suited to the higher elevations of Diano. These reds tend to be a touch brighter and gentler than those from warmer zones, jubilantly capturing the charm and versatility we love about wines made from this grape.
     When our Barolo-producing friend Alessandro Fantino introduced us to Paolo Olivero at Il Palazzotto, we were thrilled to find wines embodying Dolcetto’s best qualities. Sörì Cristina, one of Diano’s officially designated cru sites (known locally as sörì), produces Paolo’s most easy-drinking wine. You’ll find toothsome purple fruit and hints of violets on the nose, with a medium body that pairs with just about anything—serve it slightly cool with a red-sauce pasta, lasagna, or pizza to taste perfection. Paolo bottles it unfiltered for us and prices his wines for the people, making his Dolcetto painless to uncork and a total joy to gulp down.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Dolcetto
Appellation: Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Producer: Il Palazzotto
Winemaker: Paolo Olivero
Vineyard: Planted in 1985, 1.5 ha
Soil: Limestone
Aging: Wine ages in stainless steel tank until August or September of year following vintage
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 13.5%

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About The Region

Piedmont

map of Piedmont

Kermit’s love affair with the great reds of Piemonte dates back to the early days of his career: the very first container he imported from Italy, in fact, featured legendary 1971 and 1974 Barolos from Vietti and Aldo Conterno. Regular visits since then have seen our portfolio grow to now twelve Piemontesi estates, with a strong focus on the rolling hills of the Langhe.

Nebbiolo rules these majestic, vine-covered marl slopes, giving Italy’s most mystifyingly complex, nuanced, and age-worthy reds. When crafted via traditional production methods—long macerations and extensive aging in enormous oak botti—the powerful, yet incredibly refined Barolos and Barbarescos provide haunting aromatics of tar, raspberry, incense, tea, roses, and more. At times austere in their youth but well worth the wait, they pair beautifully with the hearty local cuisine starring veal in many forms, braised beef, pastas like tajarin and agnolotti, and of course, Alba’s famous white truffles.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Piemonte’s climate is continental, with baking hot summers and cold winters. Nebbiolo is only part of the story here: juicy, fruity Barberas and Dolcettos represent the bread and butter throughout the region, and other native grapes like Freisa, Croatina, and the white Arneis are also noteworthy. Value abounds in the Monferrato, while Alto Piemonte also has its share of thrills to provide.

Every corner of Piemonte is rich with tradition, especially when wine is concerned. It’s no wonder we have been singing the region’s praises for over forty years.

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Vintage Chart

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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