San Fereolo, Dogliani Rosso 1.5L
San Fereolo, Dogliani Rosso 1.5L

San Fereolo, Dogliani Rosso 1.5L

Piedmont, Italy 2006 (1500mL)
Regular price$120.00

San Fereolo, Dogliani Rosso 1.5L

Astute readers should recognize the San Fereolo name and its iconic, art deco-styled label. We offered their 2016 Dogliani a few months ago, and have been singing the praises of this estate and its über-talented proprietor, Nicoletta Bocca, for years now. That’s why today's bonus Magnum Monday offer is so exciting: One of Piedmont’s most profound, complex wines—with more than 15 years of age—in a large format that looks and tastes outrageously impressive. True, San Fereolo Dogliani isn’t a Barolo, or even a Nebbiolo, but you can forget all that because this is where Dolcetto steps firmly out of the second-fiddle role and reaches its glorious apex, and no one makes a better interpretation than Nicoletta. Serving it out of a magnum only further amplifies the tremendous power and perfume. This is the perfect wine to set at the center of an extravagant holiday feast, and to be safe, you should probably grab two or three. But don’t wait, we only have a precious few bottles!

Dogliani is the namesake village of an appellation located just south of the Barolo DOCG in Piedmont. It is a touch cooler than Barolo, and the vineyards are perched a little higher in altitude, as they climb toward the mountains that separate Piedmont from Liguria. Among the numerous region-specific appellations for the Dolcetto grape, Dogliani produces the most intense, age-worthy expressions of the variety. The soils contain a mix of limestone/clay marl and sandstone, resembling what’s found in nearby Barolo.

Nicoletta Bocca is one of Piedmont’s pioneering female winery proprietors who, in 1992, assembled the San Fereolo property from a collection of ancient vineyards whose owners were too old to farm any longer (the parcels that supply this wine were planted in 1936 and even the estate’s “young vines” are four decades old). She has earned a reputation as one of the most brilliant and consistent organic/biodynamic practitioners in the world. She is also known for exceptionally lengthy cellar-aging regimens for all her red wines before release.

For this wine, biodynamically farmed Dolcetto grapes are de-stemmed, crushed, then fermented in large neutral Slavonian oak vats. There is no temperature control; the old wood imparts very little in the way of oaky aroma or flavor, and no commercial yeasts are added—the wine is largely left untouched. The final, and perhaps most important step in the process is time. San Fereolo has a cavernous aging cellar where Nicoletta can age her masterpieces to perfection. Three years is the bare minimum, but, as you can see with today's magnum from the excellent 2006 vintage, she holds some wines back for much longer.

If you have a large-enough carafe, a slow, careful decant off the sediment is recommended, but if not just stand the bottle up for 24 hours before serving and open it at least two hours in advance. Poured into a large Burgundy stem, the wine is a deep, rich garnet hue with an indigo core and a brick red rim. The aromatics are captivating: Spiced cherries, creme de cassis, violets, anisette, clove, cinnamon, espresso, graphite, forest floor, and foraged mushrooms all converge on the nose. The tannins are still surprisingly present, though not overly firm, and the acidity is fresh, suggesting a long life ahead. A deep, richly layered texture melts into a long, savory, saline and mineral finish. It’s truly a revelatory wine, and it deserves a home on a long table with a beautiful spread of holiday dishes, especially Northern Italian inspired ones. 

San Fereolo, Dogliani Rosso 1.5L

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