San Fereolo Dogliani 2012
About the wine:
Grapes: 100% Dolcetto
Destemmed, spontaneous fermentation in wooden tini. Remains on lees for 4 months. Aged 12 months in 7-hl tonneux, 36 months in 15-hl Slavonian oak botti, and 12 months in stainless steel tanks. Unfined and Unfiltered.
The flagship wine of the cellar, this comprises 40-to-80-year-old vines of high-altitude Dolcetto planted on Nicoletta’s best, most sun-drinking slopes, aged three years in large barrels and an additional four in bottle before ever even seeing the marketplace. Here, Dolcetto’s often foregrounded floral character takes a backseat to mouthwateringly savory earth tones, reminiscent of great Nebbiolo in its mineral presence but with a darkly spicy character that speaks to its variety of origin. The aforementioned use of submerged-cap fermentation—the first vintage in which Nicoletta employed the practice—imbues this 2012 with a striking litheness which gorgeously offsets its signature muscularity; this is slightly lighter in spirit yet even more penetratingly mineral than past vintages have been, and it offers irresistible drinkability.
About the producer:
Nicoletta Bocca has been the driving force at San Fereolo since she acquired the property in 1992, during which time she has mastered the terroir of her Valdibà subzone and completed the conversion to certified biodynamic (Demeter). We [Rosenthal] consider the estate to be among the greatest references for the terroir of Dogliani, which is located immediately south of Barolo in the Langhe. The Dogliani DOCG is home to some of the greatest Dolcetto vineyards in the Piemonte, and this appellation accounts for the majority of the estate’s 12 hectares under vine. The oldest Dolcetto vines were planted in 1936, while the youngest date back to 1978. The finest sources are destined for the flagship “San Fereolo” cuvée, while the balance of the Dolcetto vines comprise the “Valdibà” bottling. In addition to the Dolcetto holdings, San Fereolo has several important parcels of Barbera, which are assembled with a touch of Nebbiolo for a Langhe Rosso cuvée known as “Austri.” Rounding out the holdings are additional small Nebbiolo parcels, as well as an unusual north-facing plot of Riesling and Gewurztraminer immediately adjacent to the hilltop estate.