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Smoked Gouda

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One of the main grapes in the Piedmonte area of Italy, this grape, known as "little sweet one", is what Northern Italians drink while waiting for their Barolos to come of age. It's a dark robust wine with softer tannins than those made with Nebbiolo, so it's easier to drink when young. It's gaining a small groundswell in California, but bottles are pretty few and far between. Mostly produced in Italy, a good wine shop will have at least one or two for you to try. They used to be cheaper, but with some international recognition are now in the $15-$20 range. You'll get a more interesting wine for the dollar over most American offerings in the same price point. While a few years in the bottle won't hurt these wines, they aren't made for long term aging. Drink within 2-4 years of the vintage. (Young Italian wines tend to be a little tight right out of the bottle. For best results, quickly pour the whole bottle into a carafe/decanter about 30 minutes to an hour before you want to drink it to help open the wine.)

WHAT TO EXPECT: A deeply colored, soft wine with bright acidity, rustic tannins and big flavors (black cherry, blackberry) with an almost floral aroma. They are often quite smokey with notes of licorice or violets along with slightly bitter tannins and a dusty finish. An everyday wine that's best enjoyed with food.


spacer.gif2008 Vietti Dolcetto d'Alba Tre Vigne, Piedmont, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Pietro Rinaldi Madonna di Como Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont, ItalyRATING: *
spacer.gif2006 Palmina Winery Dolcetto, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Ca' Viola Dolcetto d'Alba Vilot, Piedmont, ItalyRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Palmina Winery Dolcetto, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Renato Ratti Dolcetto d'Alba Colombè, Piedmont, ItalyRATING: *
spacer.gif2005 Podere Rocche dei Manzoni La Matinera Dolcetto d'Alba,
Piedmont, Italy
spacer.gif2005 Paolo Scavino Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont, ItalyRATING: *

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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