22/FEB/2017 in Press
A magical trip to the Langhe, discovering elegant and refined wines and people hearted
Langhe means emotions. Dogliani, a town evoking a vine.
Almost one year ago, my girlfriend and me spent a few days in Piedmont, right in the town of Dogliani, guests of a restored farmhouse from the Pecchenino family, not far from the village, steep on the top of a wonderful and impressive hill. The weather was mild and sunny, so that we could fully appreciate the home-style but professional hospitality: a large room, clean and cured, and a rich and careful breakfast.
And the room where the breakfast is served has a panoramic and breathtaking view of the surrounding vineyards. Moreover, the landlord, Attilio, although always very busy in the vineyards, showed us some incredible trails that, starting from the cottage, wen through the vineyards. He showed us some places where we could taste local food. And finally, he also suggested some other winemakers to visit ... so we felt welcomed! But we wanted to try the delicious fruits of the surrounding vineyards. So after the walk we organized a tasting of the wines produced by Attilio and his brother Orlando!
Barbera, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto. I like to define the experience of tasting like a game made of expectations, sometimes they are confirmed and sometimes no. And speaking about expectations ...
I must say that my expectations were quite high, knowing the company reputation. Some clues: they were forerunners in the use of the so-called "sexual confusion" to combat pests; they make frequent thinning of bunches during the year to reduce the treatments on the vines and ensuring greater concentration in the grapes; they seed the rows so as not to erode the soil and retain the richness of the earth; they pick the grapes by hand; they use indigenous yeasts.
The signs were there, then. And the expectations too. I mean those generated in the glass when the wine runs in there and you can see it. The Dolcetto broke my heart. The one raised in Bricco Botti, the part I used to see in the morning during breakfast. We tasted the 2012. A beautiful ruby red color. A very pleasant nose and surprisingly intense red fruit (cherry and raspberry mostly) and pleasant and sweet spices well blended and not overbearing, a sign of the wise use of wood. In the mouth we had expected a pretty simple wine, not too tannic. Instead, surprisingly, it proved to be a quite structured wine with a tannic richness that was felt even if not in an intrusive way, supported by a major warm note and freshness. Even the olfactory persistence has been higher than expected and completely corresponding to the nose. I loved it! When I went home I offered it to some friends who came from Sardinia, during a Christmas dinner. Given the structure, the aroma, the warmth and the tannins I decided to gamble: I paired it with a leg of pork with polenta. I think I won the bet!
Photo by: www.slowfood.it