Luciano Sandrone is undoubtedly a master in Piemonte, Italy. We already know the winemaker produces some of the finest Barolos on the planet, but it’s fascinating to find out what a master decides to do with a lesser grape, in this case a Dolcetto[doll-chet-oh] from the town of Alba. It’s comparable to looking at a Michelangelo sketch. It’s not the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but it’s valuable insight into the inner workings of the artist. Such is the case with the 2013 SANDRONE Dolcetto d’Alba. Widely planted in the Piedmontese region, Dolcetto is considered a “common” grape—something winemakers grow so that they can make a red wine that is cheaper and quicker to produce and bring to the market while their prestigious grape varietals such as Barolo and Barbaresco develop and mature. In the hands of Sandrone, however, a Dolcetto is anything but common. Lithe and smooth, attractive and bright, earthy and sappy with striking young cherry, pomegranate and cola notes and finishing with a pinch of white pepper—it’s a thing of substantial beauty. Start your evening with this, and work your way to a masterpiece. –J.M.
Find this wine at a store near you, or purchase on the internet:
Great Wine: Tenuta di Renieri Chianti Classico