The Dolcetto d’Alba Dei Grassi comes from a southeast facing, 1.5-hectare parcel of loosely packed calcareous soil, surrounded by the Nebbiolo that goes into the Gavarini Barolo. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented in stainless steel, and the wine is bottled directly from the tank in April after the harvest. In the glass, the wine has an inky, royal purple color, with flashes of crimson just at the edge. Aromas of sun-warmed black raspberries, wild blueberries, Damson plums, and Darjeeling tea move in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with fleeting suggestions of dried rose petals, freshly grated nutmeg, and black peppercorns, as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is juicy, bright, and moderately tannic, bursting with luscious black fruit flavors that echo the nose, including preserved amarena cherries, black Mission figs, and pomegranate, all seasoned with a hint of sea salt minerality, and beautifully balanced with a thread of black raspberry acidity.
About this wine producer: If there is any Barolo producer who perfectly embodies the idea of stewardship of his heritage, it is Elio Grasso. He was working in a bank in Torino in 1978 when his grandfather died, leaving him a small cascina and a few giornate of vines on the Gavarini and Ginestra hills of Monforte d’Alba. Elio promptly quit the bank to become a wine grower. Today he still works every day in the vineyard, preferring to leave the cellar and business to his son Gianluca, who produces the wines. The estate is now always counted among the top producers in Italy.