About this WINE
World-renowned and defiantly traditional, the 12-hectare Marcarini estate can trace its roots back to in the mid-1800s, when Giuseppe Tarditi established his winery in La Morra, in the heart of the village. Today, it is run by the ebullient Manuel Marchetti along with his three children Elisa, Chiara and Andrea.
Based in central La Morra, with sweeping views over their vineyards below, this historic 19th-century cantina’s pride and joy is their two cru vineyards: La Serra and Brunate, both of which have featured in the Wine Spectator’s 100 Best Wines in the World. But there is evolution here: all three children are increasingly involved, with Elisa taking on more of the winemaking, while stricter selection in La Serra and Brunate has elevated these iconic wines ever higher.
Dolcetto d'Alba is a DOC zone producing wines exclusively from the Dolcetto grape. D'Alba is one of the seven Dolcetto zones in Piedmont, the others being Acqui, Asti, Diano d' Alba, Ovada and Dogliani, as well as the less significant Langhe Monregalesi. D'Alba is regarded as the finest-quality zone of all for Dolcetto.
Dolcetto is an important Piedmontese grape, and the antithesis of Nebbiolo. It ripens a month earlier and produces wines that are low in acid yet high in tannins. Planted on the sites spurned by Nebbiolo and Barbera, Dolcetto is most suited to the light, white, sandy, calcareous tufa soils that are common in and around Barbaresco. It is generally made in an unoaked style to accentuate its natural violet perfume and juicy, bitter cherry and almond fruit. Dolcetto d’Alba is the grape’s most highly-regarded incarnation and makes the perfect antipasti wine.
Recommended producers: Diano, Dogliani
A native black grape variety of Northern Italy grown almost exclusively in the provinces of Cuneo and Alessandria in Piedmont. It is relatively easy to cultivate, although it is susceptible to fungal diseases. It ripens before Barbera and Nebbiolo and is often grown in high north-facing sites which would be unsuitable for Nebbiolo.
The finest Dolcetto wines come from grapes grown on soils rich with white marls, especially those found on the right bank of the River Tauro. The wines generally are low in tannins and acidity and are usually fruity and fragrant, often with hints of almonds. Most Dolcettos should be drunk within a year or two of the vintage, but the wines from the best producers can last for 5 years and sometimes longer.