1761. That was the year that Bartolomeo Borgogno established his winery in Piemonte. This was 100 years before Italy became a unified country. The rich history of Borgogno spans the centuries until 1920 when Cesare Borgogno began exporting his wines outside of Italy. With his death in 1968, the estate slowly slid into mediocrity.
In 2008, the Farinetti family acquired the winery and began revitalizing the property. As a result, the family renovated the original building and installed several changes in methodology including a change from steel to cement for fermentation, large oak barrels for aging their red wines and began the conversion to organic viticulture. 2019 was their first certified organic harvest.
Today the estate covers approximately 39 hectares, of which 31 are devoted to vines. 60% of that total is devoted to Barolo while the remainder is split between Dolcetto, Barbera and other grapes. In this review, we are focusing on the current release of the family’s Dolcetto.
I love Dolcetto, especially the versions from Alba and Dogliani and although I purchase it often, it has been almost 6 years since I checked in with Borgogno’s version. Dolcetto should be simple. That doesn’t mean it can’t be complex. It should be treated carefully and minimally to retain it’s fresh personality. That charm is what makes it extremely versatile with food. Borgogno does a very good job in this regard.
The 2017 Borgogno Dolcetto d’Alba is one of the best Dolcetto I’ve tried in a long while. Deep violet in color, the wine exudes bright, fresh aromas with energy and abundance. Black plums, freshly cut flowers, unworn leather and hints of licorice are very, very enticing. On the palate, this is unadulterated wine. Fresh flavors of crushed black cherry, licorice and eucalyptus are juicy and fresh. There’s a little bit of tannic grip here too which provides nice structure and inserts the notion that 1 or 2 years in the cellar could yield interesting results.
Borgogno vinified the wine in 100% stainless steel where the juice remained for 4 months. After bottling, the wine was left to settle an additional month before being released. There’s nothing not to like here. Like the 2011 vintage I linked above, this is a steal. 91 points and just under $20 if you search. Find this wine.