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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dolcetto is cookin'

The Dolcetto looks good. The 2007 was on the more traditional side, a touch tart with a light body in the Piemonte Alba-type style. The 2008 looks to be more like the 2005 - fuller bodied, fully dry chalky tannins, with a round mid-palate (we hope). The Dolcetto likes to be a mid-cropper, and we were at about 3 1/2 tons for the acre - right on target. The berries juiced readily but the flesh was in good shape. It was a touch over 25 brix, just under 14% potential alcohol, right on target. The acid, well, this is Lake County,"high" elevation, very dry, lots of heat, almost no irrigation. We are starting of with native yeasts (the Dolcetto block is right in front of the winery and gets a lot of pommace recycled into it) and then will innoculate half way through with BM 4x4, a newer version of the BM45 Brunello yeats we frequently use. Color is fantastic after two days. The flavors are a bit simple, but hopefully we can help it to open up. My personal dream is to built a Sagrantino di Montefalco style out of it. The Dolcetto can't match the aromatic complexity of that particular Umbrian varietal, and we can't get the haunting blackberry Bordeaux-like element, but the tannins and backbone line up well, and the Dolcetto can make up for it with a firm cherry blast. Next up will be the Primitivo, and it is all over the board, probably to be picked in three installments. So much for a simple harvest. It looks to be much more challenging than the Dolcetto this year.

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