Last May we tried a ton of Dolcetto in the company of two distinguished tasters who kept saying they didn’t like Dolcetto, which tends to put a damper on the experience. Sandri’s, however, made them sit up and take notice, so I give them credit for staying alert and flexible enough to change their minds. It’s bracingly juicy with wild brambly fruit that’s balanced with savoury herbs and chalky stone. Medium-bodied, very lively and lifted, it’s long and complete. I happen to like Dolcetto, but if they were all half as good as this one I might say I love it. Jamie Wolff
Since the Fall cooking around my house is Piemonte-centric, I would be remiss for not including Cascina Disa's wines in my top choices for autumnal wines. Elio Sandri makes fabulous reds in Monforte d’Alba (Perno), which offer sophistication (though not flashiness) and also express terroir and Langhe soul beautifully. The 2015 Dolcetto is dark-fruited with ripe aromas of violets, blackberry, black cherry, plum, and pencil lead. The supple, but racy palate offers more dark fruit flavors over well-knit tannins and a succulent, buoyant finish. Fabulous with salumi, smashing with a cheese plate after dinner. This has a fine ratio of generous fruit to structure to terroir detail without any of the heat or excess that sometimes characterizes the vintage. I’m regularly impressed by the wines from Elio Sandri and can say without hesitation that he is a grower to watch. John McIlwain
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