Australian Dolcetto wine regional and flavour profile



Dolcetto taste and aromas

Intensely fruity with flavours of almonds, plums, blackberries, prunes, along with freshly cracked black pepper, liquorice, red cherry and bubble-gum on the nose.

Dolcetto mouthfeel

Although the name implies sweetness, Dolcetto wines are usually dry, with low acidity and low to moderate tannins.

Dolcetto cellaring potential

Dolcetto wines produced to be consumed young.  The low tannins and low acidity mean the wine does not have structure to age well, and is best consumed while young and fresh

Facts about Dolcetto

  • Dolcetto is an Italian red wine grape variety that is popular in the cooler northern regions of Italy, particularly in the Piedmont and Liguria regions.
  • In Italian, Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one,” however this red wine is characteristically not sweet. In fact, “Dolcetto” takes its name from the Piemontese hills  where it originated, that are named, in dialect, Duzzet.
  • The dark purple skin of Dolcetto grapes have high amounts of anthocyanins, which require only a short maceration time with the skin to produce a dark-coloured wine. The amount of skin contact affects the resulting tannin levels in the wine, with most winemakers preferring to limit maceration time to as short as possible. During fermentation, the wine is prone to the wine fault of reduction.

Australian regions that produce Dolcetto

Dolcetto in Australia can be found throughout Australia, particularly in the Mornington Peninsula, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and King Valley

Outside of Australia, most Dolcetto is found in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, where many of the top estates produce Dolcetto on less favoured sites as an “early to market wine” to generate some income for the winery while the Nebbiolo and Barbera are being matured. It is particularly associated with the towns of Dogliani and Diano D’Alba in the province of Cuneo, although the greatest volumes come from around Alba and Ovada.

What food to pair with Dolcetto

Dolcetto wines are best when consumed young, with a tomato based Italian cuisine. They are often robust enough to be paired with antipasto where they will be consumed with sharp pickled foods, salted anchovies or savoury salamis all at once.

They are also suitable for Asian foods where their fruity flavours can compete with spicier flavours.


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