Cascina Degli Ulivi 'Nibio' Dolcetto 2007
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Press 2 • December 2023 Direct Press Selection
This wine contains everything that embodies the spirit and approach of the late, legendary Stefano Bellotti, who made this wine a few years before his passing in 2018. Embracing Biodynamics as far back as 1984, he was a huge figure in the push for natural wine and better farming in Europe. Cascina degli Ulivi is still a lush, mixed farm with livestock, cereals, beehives, pastures, and of course grapevines, and the wines and the farm are safely in the hands of Stefano's daugher Ilaria. The agriturismo attached to the farm is a beautiful place that is not to miss if you're in the area, only an hour and a half from both Milan and Torino.
Dolcetto was the main grape of this part of the Piedmont before the phylloxera scourge of the late 1800s, and it's clear why. This is age-worthy and complex wine with an abundance of character. Made with zero sulfur from roughly 60 year-old vines and aged in huge old botti for two years before bottling. Because the vines are from a less sunny, northeast facing site, it is a nervy, rustic wine. Dark cherry, blackberry, nutty, with hints of tertiary dark-chocolate, meatiness, tobacco and smoke with slight tannins. There are tertiary notes of iron and umami, with rhubarb, horehound, and feral notes. It's an energetic wine with both finesse and power which is in a really beautiful spot right now, with even more aging potential. We were really blown away by this wine, especially with how much youthfulness it still displays, with great acidity and clarity that is not typical of 16 year-old wines. It is truly special and a testament to the late Stefano Bellotti's vision. Enjoy now, no decant needed, maybe with a plate full of roast beef or risotto with wild mushrooms and chicken livers. Jonathan Kemp and Nico Haunold