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2008 Vietti Dolcetto d'Alba Tre Vigne**
viettidolcetto.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $20 Artisan Cheese 1/8/10
A medium, ruby/purple colored wine with subtle aromas of black cherry and raspberry with hints of violets and minerals. The palate is medium-bodied with moderate acidity and rustic tannins that settled more into the wine as it opened and disappeared altogether with blue cheese paired with it. The flavors reflected the nose, with the fruit becoming more apparent with food, though never reached a level I would call ripe, at least by CA standards. The finish was moderate and dusty with notes of spice and earth. Not a very complex wine, but one that was enjoyable and showed true to the varietal. Don't think it will change much with time, though would aerate it if given the choice. A good, everyday food wine from one of the region's top producers. (14% abv)

2007 Pietro Rinaldi Madonna di Como Dolcetto d'Alba*
pietroDolcetto.jpg Region Price Tasted Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $15 Topline Wine 7/6/10
A medium, ruby-colored wine with a tinge of purple around the edges. The nose was filled with black fruit and earth with hints of smoke and violets. The palate was light-medium bodied and a bit bitter and rustic right out of the bottle, showing very little of the fruit promised on the nose. After aerating, it rounded out a little more and delivered flavors of blackberry, cherry, minerals and dusty tannins on the rather short finish. While well-made, it wasn't very complex, though it was better with food. Dolcetto's are made for everyday drinking and this version showed that. Hard to recommend at its price point, but still quite drinkable if you like very dry wines and are looking to expand your Italian varietal palate. Might get smoother with some additional bottle age, but there's not really enough depth to warrant it. (13% abv)

2006 Palmina Dolcetto***
06PalminaDolcetto.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $20 @ the Winery 10/5/09
A medium-deep, ruby/purple colored wine with a bright nose of black fruit, earth and smoke with hints of violets. A blend of grapes from two very different vineyards (Honea and Zotovich), the palate was initially still tight and a bit tannic so we aerated it and it rounded out beautifully. Medium-full bodied, this wine is filled with blackberry, plum and black cherry fruits along with strong flavors of minerals, earth and smoke that turn this into a more savory than sweet wine. Well-balanced and well-integrated, this wine still has at least another year or two in the bottle. Wish it had a stronger finish, but it was good enough for me. What I loved about this wine is though it's distinctly Californian (Italian versions would never be this round and ripe), it still showed it's varietal character. Owner/winemaker Steve Clifton is at the forefront of the Cal-Ital wine movement and this wine shows why. Especially for the price.

2005 Ca' Viola Dolcetto d'Alba Vilot**
caviola.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $18 The Wine House 7/30/08
Deep ruby-purple colored wine with black fruit, violet and smoke on the vibrant nose. The palate was big and smooth with very little acid or tannin and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, flowers, smoke and a hint of white pepper on the moderate finish. Doesn't finish as well as it starts and is a bit rustic, but this is a fine example with ripe tannins and good structure.

2005 Palmina Dolcetto**
Palmina_2006_Dolcetto.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $20 @ the Winery 1/30/08
Expressive nose filled with aromas of raspberry and cherry, a bit of toast and a hint of violets. The palate is full of ripe dark fruit flavors, smoke and a nice balance between the acidity and the tannins. The rustic beginning smooths out to a soft mouthfeel and a lingering finish. A lovely example of what this varietal is all about.

2005 Renato Ratti Dolcetto d'Alba Colombè*
66109.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $15 Colorado Wine Company 1/8/08
Ruby red with an abundance of violet reflections. Intense bouquet with scents of cherry, ripe plum, earth and smoke. Fairly tannic and tight in the begining leaving a bitter, dusty aftertaste. As it opened up the palate got softer and fruitier with flavors of blackberry and cherry. Needs more time in the bottle or at least an hour in a decanter.

2005 Podere Rocche dei Manzoni La Matinera Dolcetto d'Alba*
rocchedolcetto.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $15 Woodland Hills Wine 9/15/08
Bought this on the written recommendation. Trying to expand my cellar and palate. They claimed it was fruity and supple. I thought it was rustic and bitter. It has the typical ruby/purple color and a lighter body than most Dolcettos with a nice nose of black fruit, spice and vanilla, but while those qualities do translate to the palate, the tannins were just too harsh for me to really enjoy this wine. Even aerating it didn't help all that much. For those who like their wines very dry, this is the bottle for you.

2005 Paolo Scavino Dolcetto d'Alba*
Scavino05Dolcetto.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $17 BevMo 11/2/09
A medium-deep, ruby-colored wine with a tinge of purple around the edges. The nose is subtle with aromas of black fruit, herbs, earth and a hint of violet. The palate was pretty bitter and tannic upon first opening and didn't really open up too much even after we aerated it. Medium-bodied with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and earth with hints of mocha and vanilla on the quick finish. Time and food improved the acidity and bitterness but not enough to make this wine enjoyable. Scavino is one of the region's big hitters, but this wine just didn't pass muster with me.

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