2015 Dolcetto by Pecchenino - 538 Wine Notes

2015 Dolcetto by Pecchenino_538

The Pecchenino estate dates back to 18th century and has always been a family-run operation, with the holdings handed down from father to son for generations. The land originally consisted of about 8 hectares but in the hands of current proprietors, brothers Orlando and Attilio Pecchenino, the estate has grown to 25 hectares, with 22 located in the Commune of Dogliani. They also produce Nebbiolo in Barolo.

Much has been documented about how well Dogliani is outstandingly suited for top drawer Dolcetto, but it is the thoughtful, diligent work in the vineyards, ensuring healthy and ripe grapes, that is the hallmark of the wines of Pecchenino. Their approach to winemaking is simple and faithful; sites with optimal exposure, minimal intervention in the vineyards, low yields, natural yeasts and lengthy ageing in large, Slovenian oak barrels result in wines expressive of their natural territory.

The San Luigi is the gateway Dolcetto to Pecchenino’s stable, vinified in stainless steel for a pure, delightfully fruity Dolcetto. Fresh and flavorful, with a dark fruit profile of black cherries and prunes complemented by a firmness and complexity not often found in wines at this level, the San Luigi makes a versatile food companion, pairing extremely well with cold cuts, pastas and meats. They make richer, more concentrated styles for more money and more alcohol. But I am a fan for medium to lower alcohol that lets this food friendly wine shine.

Light bodied it may be, but another reason to love this wine is its versatility. Its juicy acid and soft tannins makes it drinkable lightly chilled or at room temperature, and while it's probably happiest accompanying traditional Italian fare, I would just as soon drink it by itself or with Sunday roast or even with fish – but perhaps this says more about my own attitude towards food and wine matching dogma.

On top of all that, the relative rarity of the appellation satisfies the nerdy tendency of most wine nuts, plus the label is both classically Italian while being legible and modern. Another advantage it displays is pride of place. Stylistically, this wine could only be Italian. It combines sour-cherry fruit with dark savory flavors –anise and licorice – with high acidity and light body giving great refreshment on the finish.

aris hovsepian