Renzo Castella Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba Sori della Rivolia – Organic
This wine is a “darling” of the sommelier community and for good reason: Nebbiolo/Dolcetto master Renzo Castella’s decades-old, pesticide/herbicide-free vineyards hug the borderline between Diano D’alba (one of Italy’s only Grand Cru-equivalent sites for Dolcetto) and Barolo (one of Italy’s most prestigious wine-growing villages, period). The result is a seductive, dark fruit/floral-scented red with a low price that defies the impressive depth and complexity.
Renzo Castella farms a small vineyard that hugs the border between Serralunga d’Alba and Diano d’Alba. This location is ideally situated to grow both Nebbiolo and Dolcetto, which is exactly what Castella does. Serralunga d’Alba is one of the most famous of Barolo’s comunes, making it part of the center of the Nebbiolo universe.
Diano d’Alba, meanwhile, is one of only seven villages to be granted DOCG status for Dolcetto, Italy’s highest and most esteemed viticultural designation.
While both of these grapes flourish in this part of Piedmont, they behave very differently. Nebbiolo is finicky and hard to ripen but can produce wines of great structure and near-infinite longevity. Dolcetto, on the other hand, is quicker to ripen and lower in acid and tannin, resulting in wines that are delicious from day one and intended to be enjoyed young.
Castella’s Dolcetto is a superb example of what the grape can be achieved when farmed with care – Castella uses neither pesticides nor herbicides in his vineyards – and vinified using traditional methods. This wine possesses great purity of fruit and delicate floral undertones while retaining just a touch of Italian rusticity. It is the perfect thing to accompany a weeknight meal of pasta and pizza, casual and delicious in equal measure.
The finished wine is a magical bottle at a more than reasonable price. With loads of dark fruits, violet, and an overall seductive personality, it should cost twice the price.