” I’m a farmer, I know the hard work from the past times. I was here when farmers would plough the vineyards with an ox and I did it myself until I was twenty. This way I learned to respect work and the land”
This quote from Elio Altare sums up the nature of the region of Piemonte in Northern Italy. Hardworking, salt of the earth people whose families have been farming these lands for generations. Sure, you might find the odd rich playboy who decided to use a fortune made in tech stocks to buy a vineyard, but for the most part these small family run estates are still the heart and soul of the region.
Although the region may be best known for the famed region of Barolo, there are a number of extraordinary wines that still remain relatively obscure to the average wine drinker. Dolcetto is a red grape variety that, while it often plays second fiddle to the more famous Nebbiolo grape, can produce wines of exceptional character and depth of flavour. Grown in the scenic hillside vineyard surrounding the town of Alba, Dolcetto often produces wines that are plump and easy drinking, with distinct notes of roses, black cherries, plums and truffles.
The 2010 Dolcetto d’Alba from Elio Altare has a beautiful crushed velvet colour, along with aromas of cherry nibs, lavender and cassis. On the palate this is medium bodied, with lovely flavours of old-fashioned licorice, cinnamon, black cherry skins and clove.
At $27 + tax I think this delivers outstanding value, and would be a great match with Peccorino Romano, cured meats or steak tartare.
As always, this is available at Vine Arts Wine and Spirits.