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Piedmont Dolcetto: Panel tasting results

These early-drinking Piedmont reds place the focus on fruit, with little or no oak used, yet they can be great for food-matching, too. More than a third of the wines tasted here scored 90pts or higher.

Susan Hulme MW, Vincenzo Arnese and Sara Bachiorri tasted 95 wines with 1 Outstanding and 35 Highly recommended.

Piedmont Dolcetto: Panel tasting scores

95 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 1

Highly recommended 35

Recommended 57

Commended 2

Fair 0

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their currently available vintages of Piedmont Dolcetto red wines, with no price restrictions, from DOCs Dolcetto d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Asti, Dolcetto d’Acqui, Dolcetto di Ovada, or DOCGs Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba/Diano d’Alba, Dolcetto di Ovada Superiore or Dogliani

Dolcetto is the third-most important red grape variety in Piedmont, after Nebbiolo and Barbera. Although most closely associated with Piedmont, it is also grown in Lombardy, Liguria and the island of Sardinia, though often under other names (Ormeasco, Nibiò etc). It’s an early-ripening variety – two to three weeks before Nebbiolo – and produces deeply coloured, dry red wines with plenty of gentle tannins and lowish acidity, which emphasise the sweetness of fruit and perhaps explains the meaning of its name: ‘little sweet one’.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the Dolcetto panel tasting

Dolcetto panel tasting scores

The judges

Susan Hulme MW is a wine writer, editor, educator and presenter specialising in Italy. She runs her own wine training and consultancy company Vintuition and travels regularly to wine regions around Italy. Now focusing more on her writing, she is Italian editor for The Wine Independent.

Vincenzo Arnese is director of wine at Raffles London at the OWO. Born in Naples, he worked at top hotels in Italy, Switzerland and Australia, and later at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. A DWWA judge, in 2022 he won the coveted title of Taittinger UK Sommelier of the Year.

Sara Bachiorri is in the buying team at merchant WoodWinters. A DWWA judge, she was formerly head sommelier at The Glasshouse in Kew then Chez Bruce in London, followed by a stint at Italian specialist merchant FortyFive10°.

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