Chionetti Dolcetto Dogliani Briccolero 2013
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Direct Press Selection • November 2022
This is the second month in a row we’ve featured Dolcetto in the Press 2 lineup. Where last month’s Nibio from Cascina degli Ulivi was untamed and edgy, this month’s Dolcetto from Chionetti is a study in classical elegance.
Dogliani is located just south of Barolo and has the same chalky clay soil as Barolo’s revered Monforte and Serralunga crus. At some point it was declared not suited for Nebbiolo and Dogliani took on a lower status, but this seems to have been a mostly arbitrary designation. For those who know, there are incredible values and age-worthy wines to found in Dogliani for fractions of the prices of Barolo. It also proves that Dolcetto is a serious grape in its own right, as producers in Dogliani can focus solely on Dolcetto without being distracted by Nebbiolo.
Chionetti is one of the older winemaking families in the area, arriving in 1912. They began labeling and bottling their wines in the 1950s and have been certified organic since 2015. The ‘Briccolero’ bottling comes from the top of the hill, and has been vinified separately since the 1950s, which was very ahead of its time. The 2013 vintage is in a particularly amazing spot to drink right now. It is superbly complex and bewtiching. Pine, forest floor, black truffle, leather, sandalwood, and old library vibes. True to the Chionetti style, this is an exercise in restraint and filigreed detail. The tannins provide a fine, precise, chalky backbone to the wine, and the wine reveals more and more as it’s open. Sage, black peppercorn, and ethereal, lifted layers emerge, all with a sensation of haunting beauty instead of power. Jonathan Kemp