I haven't tracked down the problem, but it appears that a large number of yesterday's editions did not reach their destination. We're counting on the "cross-fingers-and-hope" technology to deter a similar glitch today. If you didn't receive your Wine Advisor, "Diary of a wine judge," but would like to see it, you'll find an archived copy online at
One of the best value wines from Northwestern Italy's Alpine foothill region called Piemonte - a region generally better known for wines of quality than value - is Dolcetto. It's one of my Italian favorites, and it's often available for as (relatively) little as $10 to $15.
But in one of wine appreciation's most enduring myths - perhaps because of its name, which translates as "The little sweet one" - Dolcetto is often mistakenly categorized as a light, fruity wine, something like an Italian Beaujolais.
Even the usually reliable Frank Schoonmaker, in his classic "New Encyclopedia of Wine," declared Dolcetto "soft, lush, supple ... at its best within two or three years of the harvest," an assertion that simply doesn't stand up to the taste test.
In fact, there's nothing lightweight about Dolcetto, a sturdy, gutsy Northern Italian red that's typically dark and robust and often astringently tannic - a wine that shows best in company with food.
Today's example comes from one of the best Dolcetto-producing villages, Dogliani, a few kilometers south of Alba.Marenco 2000 Bric Dolcetto di Dogliani ($12.99)
Clear but very dark garnet. Black cherry scent with smoky and "tarry" nuances. Fresh fruit and earthy flavors are consistent with the nose, mouth-filling and tartly acidic. A good food wine, if hardly a "little sweet one." U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (March 28, 2002)
FOOD MATCH: A fresh arugula and caper topping turns a simple pizza into an exceptional match.
VALUE: Appropriate for the price.
Throughout Europe, wine lovers are making travel plans for Bordeaux as the region's producers will soon offer the 2001 vintage for sale "en primeur."
The noteworthy Chateau Palmer offers these comments on its wine of the vintage: "The 2001 vintage of Chateau Palmer has a strong personality that is both firm and fresh, revealing roundness and excellent length. At Palmer we believe we have achieved a very successful vintage, and we would like to invite you to discover all the aspects that have forged its character."
For a more complete report on 2001 at Chateau Palmer, you're invited to
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Friday, March 29, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.