"In Dogliani, the fruit is different. Unlike the immediate and monotonous vinousity common in this variety elsewhere, here it is capable of unusual aromatic expressions. The tannins, in the best circumstances, are of unimaginable depth with a structure that expresses the land of Dogliani more than the Dolcetto grape itself. Complete, rich but natural these are wines that feel the differences in terroir. Finally, in Dogliani, Dolcetto is capable of evolving with subtle variations not possible elsewhere. After a few years, when the fruit has lost its importance, mineral and forest floor notes emerge, remarkably different to Dolcettos from other areas"
Enogea 18 - F. Falcone
This wine was born from an idea, which in the beginning was confused and undefined and which sprouted from conversations with other wine producers. It was sustained by an inner conviction and the desire to experiment with longer aging in wood, even considering the delicate aromas of the grape. The idea was also based on chance encounters with very old bottles of dolcetto aged in wood, due to the lack of alternative casks at that time, that were still fresh and young after decades. It was a true discovery this note of eternal youth, even with its mild aromatic transfiguration. Then came a lack of conviction, and doubts, and finally in 2007, a vertical tasting with international press that held extraordinary surprises.
The land is located in the commune of Dogliani, in the place known as Cerri Sottani, located in the sub zone of Valdiba'. Exposed to the southwest and sheltered from the wind, the vineyards are planted in a limestone rich, medium textured soil at 400 meters above sea level. The vines are cultivated using a simple Guyot, with a density of 5000 vines per hectare. The plots are cultivated according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture, which foresee a different approach to soil fertility and the use of copper and sulfur in very small quantities. The yield of wine per hectare varies according to the year from 35 to 45 hectoliter.
Hand-picked and brought to the cellar in fifty pound boxes, this dolcetto is de-stemmed, crushed and fermented in wooden vats, without selected yeasts or additives. The temperature is not controlled unless it reaches 33°C, favoring the extraction and development of more complex aromas as opposed to the primary components of the fruit. According to the vintage maceration can vary from 10 to 20 days. In 2003, to avoid over- extraction, maceration time of the grape skins was 10 days.
Alcoholic fermentation is followed by spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine then remains in suspension on the fine lees for several months and 'batonnage' is performed with decreasing frequency as the aging period progresses. The 1593 spends one year in 7-hectoliter tonneau and three years in 15-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks. It is then gradually separated from the lees by racking, and is not subject to any clarification. The wine spends 1 year in stainless steel to control reduction followed by long bottle aging. The 2003 vintage was produced only in magnums.
2003 was the first encounter with a series of very hot vintages. In many areas of the Langhe, it was characterized by higher temperatures and less ventilation, resulting in halted maturations due to water and heat stress and challenging vine growers with a difficult harvest. The Dogliani territory, however, higher in altitude and open to the Alpine breezes, gave life to wines where over ripeness was never excessive. For the 2003 harvest, a very hot vintage, the grapes that arrived in the cellar at elevated temperatures were cooled slightly and great care was taken never to exceed thirty degrees fermentation temperature, even for longer aging wines such as the 1593.
This wine is a research project, which only now, after tasting vintages such as 1997 and 1999, begins to give us an idea of its potential. One must abandon any preconceived idea about dolcetto and prepare oneself for a wine that evolves and develops differently. Dark ruby red, full and fragrant, it expresses notes of black fruit and liqueur, vanilla and eucalyptus with notes of spice. Soft, with evident tannic structure, ending fleshy and fruity.
1593 is an important date for Dogliani. It is the year in which we find the first written documentation, filed in the Dogliani archives, of the word "dozzetti", attesting the ancient roots of the grape in this territory. 1593 could have remained an abstract date, and for this reason our label attempts to stage it in the heart of its time, giving it a place alongside other important events. 1593 is an important year for late Renaissance culture, for those poets, philosophers and painters that gave us a view of the world steeped in Rosicrucian spirit, a way of thinking that will be a base for the future anthroposophical ideas of Rudolf Steiner, father of biodynamic agriculture.