Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Poderi Colla Dolcetto d'Alba - "Pian Balbo" 2010

The Piedmont district of northern Italy is home to some of the worlds most famous and long lived wines. Barolo and Barbaresco, made from the Nebbiolo grape, usually need 10 to 15 years to begin rounding into shape and then last even longer than that. Producers like Gaja, Conterno, Voerzio and many others are known the world over. But even in Piedmont, when it comes to everyday drinking, Dolcetto rules. Cultivated since the middle ages, this early ripening varietal, although found in a few other places in Italy (such as Oltrepo Pavese near Verona) does best in the cooler, hillier areas in Piedmont. Here, the extra hang time contributes to more even ripening.

Poderi Colla has been around Piedmont since the 18 century and the current generation makes traditionally styled wines that complement food in every way. This bottling is from a single vineyard planted at 885 ft. in altitude with southern and western exposures. Slow to open aromas gradually reveal beautiful bitter cherry, clove, nutmeg and floral notes. This is one of those wines I could sit and sniff for a long while. In the mouth it's a bit less complex than the aromas and light to medium in body with the bitter cherry flavors dominating and vibrant acidity giving it lift. A little like pinot noir in flavor, it finishes with some dusty tannins. This is a great weeknight wine that is fresh and lively and sees no wood at all. A selection of the wonderful broker Neil Empson, this lovely $12.99 Dolcetto went great our hometown pizza from Nomad Pizza. Cheers.

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