“It’s not easy to be Dogliani” – Dolcetto and the other side of Piedmont Langa

Continuiamo ad ospitare ospiti speciali. E questo post, pubblicato il 29 novembre, ossia il giorno del mio compleanno, è un omaggio che mi ha fatto una sommelier professionista, Chiara Giovoni aka Kiainga. Chiara lavora in uno dei ristoranti più importanti di Milano, ossia il San Cristoforo, dello chef Nicola Cavallaro.
Come potete vedere questo post non è una classica degustazione ma è il racconto di ciò che vivemmo a Dogliani un mese e mezzo fa. E poi, tanto per non farsi mancare nulla, è scritto in inglese.
Tante volte ho pensato di fare una versione anglosassone di Enofaber’s Blog, ma mi sembra un’idea da sboroni e presuntuosi… però sono assolutamente convinto che il confronto con i wine bloggers sparsi in giro per mondo potrebbe giovare a farci crescere e a toglierci da un certo provincialismo da cui siamo affetti….
Quindi lascio la parola a Chiara, ringraziandola per il tempo e l’impegno che ha dedicato alla stesura di questo racconto. Ma soprattutto la ringrazio perchè lei, professionista, si è voluta esporre sulle pagine di questo piccolo blog, dando credito e fiducia al padrone di casa. Così come hanno fatto Sara, Elena e Bianca. A tutte loro va il mio più grande e sincero grazie.

In a wine world that runs on the 2.0 cable connections of social networks, this is the story of 20 people that moved physically from behind their Mac and PC to breathe the air of the vineyards in harvest, and touch the different lands where grows a surprising variety called Dolcetto, in this production area named Dogliani DOCG.
Why surprising? Well it’s almost the story of the Cinderella of the grapes, the one that has always been used as a downhill filler in the symmetric perfection of the nebbiolo plants for the noble Barolo production. Usually perceived as a “ready to drink and easy” wine, also due to the bad habits of the producers to sell out all the production before the next harvest, Dolcetto wine has always been the poor sibling of the great nebbiolo products, and also the “cash cow” for the cellar management to support Barolo productions.
All these common senses about dolcetto have been dismantled during the 3 days of #dogliani, an event where the hash tag is the unique sign of the origin, the wine social environment in which the journey took its roots, and through what has been organized and planned: Twitter.
The trip to #dogliani has been scheduled for the 15-17 October and it was supposed to be really a marathon in the world of a land that is beautiful and rich in colors and panoramas, especially in the early autumn.
it’s almost a daily issue, among Twitter users, the concern about the discovery of the terroir as is, the not replicable and not replaceable ecosystem in which the hand of the man takes care of the growing of the plant, the ripening of the grapes and the aging of the wine. And this concern takes places in thoughts exchange of 140 typings, trough the condivision of the personal experience from winemakers, sommeliers and passionate wine consumers.
The land of Dogliani is really peculiar: smooth hills with different terroir from red “fat” ground, to white chalk, to mineral clay soil consisting of stone. The grapevines get diverse mineral flavours and structure according to the ground and the exposure to sun and wind with the altitude make the rest in terms of wine body and complexity. It’s been amazing to discover so much different products in a, all in all, restrained territory.
The 3 #dogliani days among producers that became almost friend through the condivision of their stories and wines, leaded us to some considerations and particularly after more or less 40 tasting I would point out what follows.
Piedmont and Langhe in particular is not only Barolo and Barbaresco. Very interesting and suitable for aging productions under the Dogliani DOCG have been a delightful discover. Furthermore the quality/price ratio is really interesting also in a perspective of bottle aging in the cellars of buyers.
Producers of Dogliagni DOCG wine are passionate and fond of their lovely hills and are doing their best efforts to translate the single cellar promotion strategies into a unitary brand communication strategy where the brand is the terroir value. There are the young second and third generations of the founding winemakers willing to develop a shiny future for their wine and this new spirit is almost touchable in the choices they are making regarding the maturation in bigger woods and the aging in bottle before going on the market. The past choices of selling out all the productions in order to gather economical resources to develop the cellar have been not rewarding in the long run and now there is a new awareness and philosophy to capitalize on the real potential of a powerful wine.
Last but not least there is in my mind an overall consideration that refers to a more generalized approach to wine: wine has to be lived and discovered starting from a walk in the vineyard, touching and smelling the ground, searching for the flavors of the environment in which the grapes grow, and filling all this with a deeper sense through talking to the people with the hands dirty of soil and grapes.
Appreciating a wine is getting in touch with the profound sound of its terroir, and being able to listen to the wonders it has to tell.

[immagine di Chiara Giovoni]

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