2016 Bruno Rocca Trifolé Dolcetto d’Alba

Opens with sparklingly clean aromas of bright red sour cherry, wet concrete, sweet earth and just made raspberry compote. Glossy flavours track the same strada with road tar savour providing background to the pure sweet fruit. Very polished wine making kept from cloying by just a tickle of lift. Old tee shirt under an Armani suit. Good density but light on its feet with mouth watering acidity. Quotidian wine for those lucky Piemontese. A bit more special and exotic for us at the end of the long import journey clobbered by the less than equal WET.

13.50% alcohol. Cork. $35.

92 points.

2016 G D Vajra Langhe Rosso

Really fresh, pure and crunchy red fruits with the flowers and bass of Nebbiolo stretching the spectrum of flavour. A blend it seems of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto with tiny bits of Freisa, Albarossa and surprise, Pinot Noir. First day of cracking the screwcap and the Nebb shows most, bit of a dull red colour and rusty flavour. Three days later, no hint of oxygen causing any damage. The colour actually deepened to bright red and the other components filled out the middle with beautifully poised, clean, red fruits like cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Some almond, spice and tar too. Mouthwatering acidity and a drag of Nebb tannin. Blimey, the Vajras are making such succinctly delicious stuff now. 2016 a star of a year.

13.50% alcohol. Screwcap, yes! $30 bargain!

94 points.

2016 Vietti Dolcetto d’Alba Tre Vigne

When in Rome one road leads to Matricianella and it’s mammoth wine list. A plate of tagliatelle with porcini and cicoria, incidentally another traditional dish to satisfy vegans, and something from Vietti for 20 euros on the list. Could have gone for a Barolo Cru or Brunello but blinding bargains do beckon. Just love Dolcetto with good pasta. This was foot forward, sweetly ripe, full of succulent berries and that wonderful Langhe rocky soil scent and flavour. Clean, no hint of the dreaded Dolcetto reduction and mouthwatering acidity jammed tight to fine tannins. Simple drinker, simple pleasure on a grand scale. La piccola bellezza.

14% alcohol. Cork. 20 euros on a list it takes a while to read.

92 punti but what a drink with s’ghetti.

2015 Poderi di Luigi Einaudi Dogliani

Well, it doesn’t say Dolcetto on the label anymore since the DOC got an upgrade to DOCG to reflect the quality and a special place. Probably has done little to generate brand recognition and has only encouraged the wine swots, guilty. The Piemontese themselves just get on and drink it with lunch and dinner. It’s said 2015 was perfect for the little sweet one and this bears it out, though there’s nothing faintly sweet here. Over three days it stood firm with dark, almost tart, cherry and bitter chocolate fruit and not a hint of oxidation. The texture dries and puckers enough to suit those of us who like Nebbiolo. Delicious if you get a ragu on.

14% alcohol. Cork. $30 after taking advantage of Rathdowne Cellars generous 20% off 3 bottles end of year.

94 Punti.