2021 Agricola Brandini, Dolcetto d’Alba DOC, Piedmonte, Italy.
Brandini’s seductively floral, nakedly transparent and dark fruited Dolcetto “Filari Lunghi” comes from a single high altitude, organic vineyard with vines a touch over 15 years old, which is located southeast of Monforte d’Alba on a steep, west-facing slope and cooler plot that is set on clay, limestone, and sandy soils. The results are absolutely delicious, and while mostly getting attention for their awesome and elegant Barolo wines, which I first reported on with the release of their 2017 vintage at the San Francisco Slow Wine tasting, the Brandini winery is doing fabulous full collection of stuff, as this little Dolcetto, with its vivid magenta color, shows. The lively and fresh medium bodied palate here is led by crushed blackberry, wild plum, Italian cherry and dark currant fruits, along with grilled herbs, heady violets (also on the nose), fennel and a hint of earth plus chalky stone accents. The winemaking here is simplicity and precision with no oak and a focus on clarity of form, they carefully pick grapes with moderate sugars, but with ripe tannins, retaining vibrant acidity and chasing to ferment and age the Dolcetto exclusively in stainless steel. I have a soft spot for Dolcetto d’Alba and this one is one of my new favorites, bravo to Agricola Brandiini, I seriously could drink this tasty wine every week!

The Brandini winery, rising stars here in the Piedmonte region, run by the dynamic and youthful Bagnasco sisters, Giovanna and Serena, has twenty-five hectares of estate-owned and organically farmed vineyards and they rent an additional ten, including prime parcels in the famous Annunziata and Cerretta Barolo Crus. Their estate Barolo vineyards are located at high elevation, therefore cooler sites, in the northwestern end of La Morra, their home village. Lots of Langhe Nebbiolo fruit is sourced from within La Morra, but also from plots from the far north of Barolo, right between Alba and the Ceretto winery, to just south of Monforte d’Alba, with this Dolcetto and their Barbera mostly coming from the south of Monforte d’Alba plus some close to the cantina itself. Their five hectares of Arneis are in Roero, and also makes for an excellent and desirable example, which I also tasted recently. They also do some Alta Langa Brut and Brut Rosé sparklers from the Rodello and Benevello area, which has become one of Italy’s best bubblies, more in line with Franciacorta, rather than Prosecco. The vines for Brandini’s Alta Langa, Roero Arneis, Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbera d’Alba, Langhe Nebbiolo, Barolo La Morra, and Barolo R56 are all certified organic, all others are practicing organic. Agricola Brandini should be on your radar, especially if you are fans of G.D. Vajra, Oddero and or Giulia Negri, to name a few.
($25 ESt.) 93 Points, grapelive

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