The Brezza family own 12.5 hectares of vines split between the commune of Barolo (in Cannubi, Castellero and Sarmassa), the two-hectare Santa Rosalia estate just outside the Barolo DOCG zone between Diano d’Alba and the town of Alba itself, and two further plots in Monforte d’Alba and Novello. Throughout the vineyards, the family practices an environmentally friendly approach to viticulture and the estate has been certified organic since the 2015 vintage. In the cellar, winemaker Enzo Brezza follows a traditional approach with minimal intervention. In order to maintain freshness and purity, many of the wines are bottled with glass Vinolok closures.
Winter was mild with few rainfall and snowfall events. March and April were marked by fine weather and mild temperatures with little rainfall. However, in May a considerable number of rainy days started an unstable period which continued through to late June, although the rainfall did prevent hydric stress in the vines. In general, climatic conditions were ideal throughout summer. A drop in temperatures in some areas in early September, delayed the harvest. Dolcetto produced wines with elegant aromatics.
The two hectare vineyard has been organically farmed since 2010 and is located just outside of the village of Barolo. Situated at 300 metres’ elevation, the vines are planted with a south-westerly orientation, capturing the afternoon sunshine. The Dolcetto vines are Guyot pruned and espalier trained in soils comprising sand, silt and clay. Planted at a density of 4,630 vines per hectare, they are carefully cultivated by hand, with green harvesting and thinning taking place to control yields and increase the concentration of flavour in the grapes. Green manure is employed to enhance the vitality of the soil and the cuttings from the grass cover crops are left on the soil, to help increase the nutrient value. In accordance with organic viticulture, copper and sulphur are used when necessary; herbicides and pesticides are not employed. Harvest takes place by hand at optimum maturity.
The selected grapes were destemmed, crushed and placed in stainless steel tanks where fermentation took place at controlled temperatures not exceeding 26°C. Maceration lasted for seven days, then the wine was pressed off the skins. It was then transferred to another stainless steel tank where it underwent malolactic conversion at 18°C. The wine was made without the influence of oak and once fermentation was complete the wine was stored in cement tanks until bottling. The wine was made organically, with the minimal addition of sulphur.
A lively, fruity wine with notes of black cherry, crushed cassis, blueberry and wild red berries complemented by hints of liquorice and almond. Harmoniously balanced with silky smooth tannins and a lovely long finish.
16.5 Points, Jancis Robinson, 2021