Dolcetto d’Asti doc

General Notes

Dolcetto, an old autochthonous grape variety which has 11 denominations of origin in Piedmont, occupies a prestigious collocation in a limited area south of Asti. The best characteristics of Dolcetto wine, tipically ready to drink due to its naturally low fixed acidity, are enhanced with storage in the cellar and only after a year of maturing it can be the “Superiore” mark.

Production zone:
24 municipalities in the province of Asti

Grapes:
Dolcetto;

Minimum natural alcohol content by volume of the grapes:
minimum 11% vol. (12 % vol. for grapes used to make Superiore wine)

Production yields:
maximum 8 tons, corresponding to 56 hectolitres per hectare;

Minimum aging required and release for consumption:
Dolcetto d’Asti Superiore: 12 months from January 1st of the year after harvesting.

Wine characteristics:
Minimum total alcohol content by volume: 11.5% vol. (12.5% vol. if Superiore).
Minimum total acidity: 5 ‰;
Minimum net dry extract: 22 ‰;

The colour is ruby red with more or less accentuated violet hues, tending towards garnet as it evolves; the intense perfume of red fruit, often with obvious scents of cherry, accompanies a considerably rich and harmonious taste, with a characteristic almond finish.

Suitable for drinking throughout a meal, it is particularly suitable with salami and ham, hors d’oeuvres and pasta, rice or soup dishes, fresh cheeses or medium-mature firm textured cheeses.

The Dolcetto Grape variety

Very common in the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria. It is also present in Oltrepò Pavese and the Piedmont and Liguria foothill areas.

The adult leaf is medium-small, ranging from pentagon to wedge shaped and with three or five lobes. The blade is characterised by a smooth or finely puckered, shiny, dark green surface with purplish red veins. The ripe Dolcetto bunch is medium-large, elongated cone shaped, not very compact and usually with well-developed twigs; in most cases the peduncle is purplish red. The berry is medium-small and black-blue.

Germination: medium or medium-early period (second ten days of April).
Grape ripening: medium-early (second ten days of September).

The Dolcetto is an averagely flourishing grape variety and supplies abundant production which however lacks constancy. The most common and suitable training system is the espalier, with Guyot pruning. It is susceptible to oidium and mildew, quite tolerant of mould and grape rot but subject to early dropping of the berries. Its fruit is used to make deep coloured wines with low acidity and a pleasantly bitter aftertaste, best drunk while young or after due aging.

Production area

Curiosities

Ormeasco in Ormea and Pieve di Teco, Nebbiolo (Nibièu) in the Tortona and Colli dell’Oltrepò Pavese districts. Dolcetto di Boca, a cultivar of local interest in the Novara district, is very different from Dolcetto. Dolcetto bianco has become a rare grape variety and has nothing in common with Dolcetto, nor should the French Douce noire be confused with Dolcetto.

Trend in production

Dolcetto D’Asti – Production
VintageExtent cultivated (hectares)Wine production (hectolitres)
Data sources: Asti Chamber of Commerce; Valoritalia; Regione Piemonte
Data processing: Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Asti e del Monferrato
20001436.950
20011598.366
20021637.840
20031728.459
20041588.307
20051648.559
20061668.709
20071648.394
20081497.062
20091507.135
20101487.323
20111487.614
20121457.147
20131357.062
20141346.673
20151396.903
20161155.944
20171165.478
20181246.327
Dolcetto D’Asti – Bottled wine
CALENDAR YEARHectolitresNo. of bottles (0.75 litre capacity)
Data source: Valoritalia
Data processing: Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Asti e del Monferrato
20094.278570.369
20105.027670.323
20114.675623.277
20123.593479.109
20134.284571.153
20143.842512.309
20153.337444.980
20163.131417.441
20173.344445.943
20184.853647.067