Believe the Hype: 93 & 94 pt. Piemontese Gems that Overdeliver

Posted on: 07/17/18 12:01 PM


Dolcetto occupies a strange space in world of wine. At once, it is often touted as one of the wine world’s great values, as well as an also-ran, second- or third-thought to its much more noble cousins Nebbiolo and Barbera. There are a battery of reasons for this, many of which have to do with the fact that Dolcetto is rarely grown in terroir that is appropriate for Dolcetto. Moreover, for most serious Barolo is by far the most important of their production and few focus on Dolcetto with any serious interest or focus.

Nonetheless, there is “serious Dolcetto” and serious terroir which is specifically suited for Dolcetto. Chionetti is one of the producers of serious Dolcetto, and they have some of the greatest vineyards in the zone devoted to and well suited for Dolcetto, namely Dogliani.

And, for the money, there is little coming out of Italy that delivers like Chionetti’s 2016 Dolcettos. Don’t believe us, check out Galloni’s gushing praise.

Yes, you want cases of these!

2016 Chionetti Dogliani Briccolero

“Deep, unctuous and enveloping, the 2016 Dogliani Briccolero is another knockout wine from Chionetti. The 2016 is sumptuous and creamy, with tremendous intensity and plenty of supporting tannin. Even so, the 2016 exudes balance and class, not to mention tremendous personality. There is so much to like here.” 94 points – Antonio Galloni

2016 Chionetti Dogliani San Luigi

“The 2016 Dogliani San Luigi is fabulous. An infusion of black cherry, smoke, gravel, licorice and plum hits the palate in a deeply expressive, mid-weight Dogliani endowed with superb flavor intensity and personality. All the elements are beautifully fused together in this fabulous wine from Chionetti.” 93 points – Antonio Galloni

More about the Wine:

I don’t have much to say here, except that this is one of the rare examples of an exception proving the rule. Chionetti is clearly the category leader when it comes to Dolcetto and these are hors classe when it comes to the region. Here’s a summary of estate’s history from the importer:

“In 1912, Giuseppe Chionetti bought a farm area in San Luigi in the town of Dogliani and planted Dolcetto. Giuseppe’s grandson, Quinto Chionetti, started commercial production under the family name some years later, and along with his son, Andrea, explored the potential of new vineyards and started to produce Dolcetto di Dogliani from both the San Luigi and Briccolero crus.

As of 2013, the winery has been run by Quinto’s grandson, Nicola, who decided to carry on the tradition of the production of Dogliani, as a fifth generation winemaker.

Nicola owns and farms 14 hectares, making around 85,000 bottles of wine annually. The vineyards are farmed organically. They use no herbicides or insecticides, and work the vineyards manually. Grapes are selected and harvested entire by hand. Utilizing only naturally occurring yeasts, and vinified only in stainless steel, these 100% Dolcetto wines are pure expressions of both the grape, and also the individual terroirs of each single-vineyard.”

Dolcetto can do more than we expect and sometimes they really are as good as even nobler appellations. For the money, here, you’d be wise to go long.

Posted in Daily Flash By Ian Halbert