About this WINE
Few views in Barolo can compete with the one from Marcarini’s terrace in La Morra. Encompassing most of the region’s communes and vineyards, one only has to look south-east to see Barolo’s modest size, cradled in the Italian Alps. It is fitting that Marcarini occupies this prime location; the winery is built underneath La Morra’s medieval watchtower, a signpost to the Marchetti family cantina that’s visible across the region.
Over time, Podere Marcarini has become one of the region’s leading names and in many ways represents both its traditions and future. Owner Manuel Marchetti implements long fermentations, macerations, and ageing in large ancient botti. Marcarini’s wines remains traditional, but we’re finding a new zip and lift of energy for this historic cantina. Manuel’s children Elisa and Andrea now play an active role, focusing on the health of the vineyards, viticultural processes, and improvements in the cellar.
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.