Our tasting impressions
Pleased to have a Dolcetto back in the lineup and delighted to have such a fine one. The impact of the older vines is pronounced. The aromatics are big and vibrant. The taste is properly tart and bracing (despite its name, Dolcetto fruit is rarely sweet). We love the energy of this wine and the framing tannings. It is nicely structured but very well-mannered. No wonder the Piemontese drink more of this than any other wine from the region.
About this wine
100% Docletto from a vineyard in Bricco San Pietro at 380m, a southern exposure and planted 35 years ago. The vines are trained in the Guyot counter-espalier system. Harvested in the first half of September.
Fermentation is in steel tanks for 6 days at a controlled 22º with floating cap. Pumping-over is performed three times per day. Aged in the same tanks and then in bottle.
About the grape
Dolcetto, which means “little sweet one,” is a thick-skinned, early-ripening grape, which offers numerous growing challenges. It is most closely associated with the Piedmont region, where despite being viewed as a younger brother to Nebbiolo and Barbera, is most often the wine of choice at meals among the Piedmontese. It has a synergistic relationship with these other varieties because when planted higher on the cooler slopes, where the others struggle, Dolcetto is able to maintain acidity and avoid ripening too quickly.
Dolcetto, despite its name, is always made into dry wine. Further paradoxically, a grape that is low in acid and high in tannins produces (when expertly made) soft, bright and fruity wines that are easy to drink and best in their youth.
About the vintage
It was a mild and very dry winter, which continued until May when heavy rain persisted well into June. Moderate summer temperatures combined with the early season dryness helped avert hydro-stress. An uneventful conclusion to the 2020 growing season resulted in reasonably good yields and very good to excellent grape quality.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
Young, Maurizio Sanso is a third generation grape farmer but he is the first to make wine. His grandparents began as sharecroppers but eventually purchased the property. His parents, Leonardo and Silvana and his sister Lorena work closely with him on the 17ha sustainably-farmed estate producing about 50,000 bottles per year.
Maurizio is fluent in and respectful of the traditions in the Langhe - but he is not bound by them. The vast array of winemaking and aging vessels in his cellar is an indication that he has an adventurous spirit. He also believes in producing each wine in a way that will best convey what its terroir has to offer. Some of these practices might fit into a description of a modernist producer but it is hard to describe this young talent in such a confining and ultimately inaccurate way.
Already gaining recognition in Europe for his precocious talent, Maurizio seems poised for a wider stage. VDLT is pleased to play in role in bringing the wines of Cascina Sòt to the United States.