Back when I got into this business Dolcettos were quite the hot item. They were every bit the equal of Barberas and frequently rivaled Nebbiolos. Not so nowadays. Nebbiolos have rightfully assumed the throne in Piedmont, the finest wine region of Italy, and Barberas have become the hot commodity worldwide due to their ample production and international style. Dolcettos, by default, seem to have been left in the dust.
So the good news for wine lovers everywhere in just such a situation is that pricing becomes favorable for the commercial loser and experimentation with new wine styles becomes alluring. Historically Dolcettos have always been light fruity pizza and pasta wines. Now with mass marketers running the show, the hang time in the vineyards is being extended to achieve the rich, intense and overpowering fruit and alcohol that the new world loves. And if that style sells then that will be the norm going forward and, of course, the price increases will follow.
Our entry into the field currently is the Due Corti Dolcetto d'Alba and it is most definitely a food wine. It has not been reconstructed for the current tastes and would satisfy with most any red meat dish. Say you saw it here and Due Corte is just $10/bottle.
So what does the future hold for this variety? With Nebbiolo-based Barolos being such cellar selections, Dolcetto should be able to find store shelf space among the Barberas. The Piedmontese need a successful worldwide Dolcetto presence. Early maturing with a limited maceration period, Dolcetto is a cash flow must for winemakers who want money in their pockets while they wait on the Barolos.