FIVE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OUR DOLCETTO
Let us continue our explorations to improve our knowledge of Marcarini wines.
In the first chapter we revealed some unique aspects of Barolo Brunate and La Serra. Today we will investigate our Dolcetto. Follow us!
For a very long time, Dolcetto was economically much more important than Barolo! Until the 1980s, it was one of the most cultivated varieties in the Langhe. The wine of the same name was sold in great quantities. It was always found on the table at meals because it was a good accompaniment to all the courses, thanks to its freshness, its tannin content not being too high, and its fruity bouquet. Following the boom in Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera, from the 1990s, the fame of Dolcetto was slightly dimmed. Nowadays production processes have been updated, and the wine is of high quality, thus revealing again its natural predisposition as a wine to be drunk with any kind of food, always giving pleasure. A bottle to share with friends on any occasion!
Dolcetto Fontanazza takes its name from the abandoned hamlet which was located near the vineyards, just outside La Morra, on the road leading to Vergne. The same name was also used to baptise an inn and a road that, just outside the hamlet, descends towards the hamlet of Cerequio and towards the vineyards of Brunate, both Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (Additional Geographic Definitions) – or cru – of Barolo.
A FAMILY VINEYARD
The vineyards of Fontanazza are much loved by our family. While the plots in Brunate are our oldest estates, historically those of Fontanazza are next in line. You can therefore hypothesise that Brunate and Fontanazza form the original nucleus of Poderi Marcarini (Marcarini Estates) and that Barolo and Dolcetto are the principal wines of the original enterprise.
A 20TH CENTURY DOLCETTO
When we decided to produce wine on these plots of land, we took the decision to go back to traditional processes. We wanted a Dolcetto similar to those of the 20th century: fresh, young, to go with everything, not too high in alcohol. We wanted all this in the context of an everyday wine, capable of providing a very pleasant drink.
LIKE DRINKING A GLASS OF WATER
La Morra rises up steeply from the plain between Alba and Barolo, to a height of more than 500 metres. At one time it was certainly not easy to transport drinking water there, and it only arrived during the 1960s. Drainage canals were used to channel rainwater into water butts. Instead of drinking water, which might be contaminated or not available, people preferred to drink a glass of wine, even cool. What better glass of wine could one have than a Dolcetto, the most appreciated and available wine at that time?
DOLCETTO BOSCHI DI BERRI
Dolcetto di Berri is made from vines located on the southern slopes of the ridge of La Morra. A special place because it is formed out of Messinian soil – younger than the Tortonian soil found on the eastern slopes, crisscrossed by veins of chalk and sand. As we have already described in detail in the post about SOILS OF LA MORRA this particular composition of soil yields wines with unique characteristics which, in Dolcetto Boschi di Messiano Berri are expressed in well-developed bouquets of ripe fruit. It is a warm wine, both to the nose and in the mouth and, compared to the classic Dolcetto, requires longer ageing.
I BOSCHI DELLE LANGHE (THE WOODS OF THE LANGHE)
Berri is quite an isolated place. The vines have not yet got the upper hand and the biodiversity is visible in the variety of the landscape: hazelnut trees, market gardens, and lush woods, after which our wine is named.
MORE UNIQUE THAN RARE.
It is thought that isolation and the soil composition prevented Berri from developing phylloxera, the plague that, in the early 20th Century, destroyed vines all over Europe. Our strain of Dolcetto does not have Franco-American rootstocks (the only ones resistant to phylloxera) and they are over 150 years old. This characteristic, besides giving the wine an ‘aged’ flavour, makes our Boschi di Berri some of the rarest, perhaps the only, pre-phylloxera vines in the world.
We do not know of any other pre-phylloxera Dolcetto currently available on a commercial basis. If you hear of any, please let us know via the comments section. We will be happy to compare them!