The home of Dolcetto was originally Piedmont in North-West Italy. Dolcetto is an early-ripening variety that produces light- to medium-bodied red wines. We’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of Italian varieties in Australia of late, but it’s not necessarily a new trend.
Henry Best, always ahead of his time, planted the original Dolcetto vines at the end of the 1800s. It has long been a topic of conversation as to why Henry chose to plant about 25 per cent of the entire vineyard with what is, even today, a lesser known variety. We are resigned to the fact that this is one of Henry’s eternal secrets...
Best’s newer Dolcetto plantings have come from cuttings from Henry’s original vines – in 1971 they were grafted and planted in a new block in order to guarantee their survival. Now, in good vintage years, they produce amazingly flavoursome yet small parcels of fruit. When Best’s does produce its Dolcetto, it’s always in limited quantities due to the small plantings and dry-grown nature of the vines.
Like many expressions of this wine all over the world, Best’s produces a light-to medium-bodied red. It’s brightly coloured in a vibrant garnet red hue, with lifted aromas of perfumed cherry, anise and savoury herbs. On the palate discover juicy black cherry flavours with fine powdery tannins and a savoury finish. It makes a beautiful red served with foods that have naturally occurring high acidity, such as Italian-style cured meats and cheeses, as well as a variety of pasta dishes, particularly those with a tomato base.
This Italian-born variety is best while young, when it is fresh and lively, within 5-7 years of vintage.