Dolcetto: The ultimate summer red

Feb 22, 2024 | All, International wines | 0 comments

‘Every day that you drink Dolcetto is a good day,’ says Isidoro Vaira from GD Vajra. Vibrantversatile and amazing value are words that perfectly describe the red wines made from Piedmont’s Dolcetto grape. Charming, dark-fruited and juicy with a slight tannic grip, this is the wine the locals have on their tables at home and out on the town. And we love it! 

In a Wine Enthusiast tasting of Dolcettos, ‘the best examples were from Alba’. As are these four that we’re offering today, from the legendary GD VajraM. Marengo and Pio Cesare cellars! Don’t miss out on the very special Coste & Fossati Dolcetto from GD Vajra, available in South Africa for the first time. From old clones selected by Aldo Vajra and hand-grafted into Barolo vineyards, this has a bit more muscle and heft and is a serious contender for the star of the show at any dinner party.

It’s the jigsaw puzzle of Piemontese wine life,’ writes the New York Times, and the variety’s early accessibility makes it the ideal drink whilst waiting for the Nebbiolos to mature.

All of these producers own vineyards in some of the region’s best terroirs and make excellent Barolos and Barbarescos. ‘The finest Dolcettos deliver the same terroir-driven, artisan spirit of their more famous brethren, but at far more accessible prices that make them great choices for everyday drinking at the dinner table.’ – Antonio Galloni, Vinous 

Around 98% of Italy’s Dolcetto is planted on the rolling hills of Piedmont. The variety’s name comes from ‘dusset’, which means ‘hill’ in the old Piedmontese language, as it’s often planted in the cooler, higher-elevation sites where Nebbiolo doesn’t fully ripen. Lovers of Piedmont ‘owe it to themselves to check out the region’s Dolcetto and Barbera bottlings’, writes Antonio Galloni.

Tasting Notes:

GD Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba Coste & Fossati 2022

‘Vivid fruit sheathed in firm, muscular, sandy tannins. Dust and rosehips. Sour cherry. Vibrant fruit with a delicate forest-floor savoury outline and a breathy whisper of florals. The finish draws down tight and then circles back into the brightness of its fruit. Great sapidity! Appetising and full of life, and even better after the bottle was left (deliberately) open for 24 hours.’ – Tamlyn Currin,, 17/20

Pio Cesare Dolcetto d’Alba 2022

‘Bright and vibrant character with crushed dark berries, lilacs and red licorice on offer. Medium-bodied, dry and juicy with chalky texture and a lively, fruity finish.’ – James Suckling,, 91/100

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