Dogliani is the new face of Dolcetto just like Johnny Depp is the new face of Christian Dior. Dolcetto [doll-chet-oh] is the decidedly non-noble grape of the noble northwestern Italian wine region known as Piedmont. The territory within Piedmont known as Dogliani specializes in making wine from the Dolcetto grape and is slowly gaining recognition as the premier winemaking region for this varietal. Thus, we no longer refer to wines from this area as a “Dolcetto” but call it by its, for all intents and purposes, brand name: Dogliani.
The recognition is deserving. The 2012 LUIGI EINAUDI Dogliani has irresistible charm—a dark crimson with saltwater, prune and black cherry on the nose. On the palate is a silky, saline texture that’s taut and tart contrasted by a forceful fruit flavor. Smoldering, with nice finesse. Every actor, even with Depp’s smoldering qualities, needs a great director—and the house of Luigi Einaudi puts an auteur stamp on its Dogliani wine like the great Italian directors Fellini, Zeffirelli, Rossellini, Visconti or Pasolini put on their films. Auteurship, for film geeks, is a term encapsulating a belief system which says that, despite the many individual contributions made towards creating a motion picture, it is ultimately the director who is the “author” of the film—because, in the end, it is the director’s vision that is being realized. In the best of cases, it is not the director’s ego being imposed on the raw material but, rather, the highest potential of the raw material seeing its finest form of expression through the director’s eyes. The simple, unassuming, rather mundane raw material of the Dolcetto grape becomes great art in the hands of Einaudi. –J.M.