One night, two delicious wines.  Dolcetto had Company the other night.  In fact, it met it’s Mate.  Over the course of a slow, long evening we welcomed Guests® for dinner and enjoyed  two of Piemonte and Toscana’s values. 
As anyone in the Langhe will tell you,  Barolo and Barbaresco are great, but it’s Barbera and Dolcetto that are the workhorse reds of the region.  I’ve written a lot about my love of Dolcetto on these pages and the instant example has only reinforced that feeling. 
The 2011 Borgogno Dolcetto d’Alba is a pretty purplish red in the glass.  What starts out a bit funky, blows off to reveal pretty floral notes, that mingle amidst the slightly grapey, black plum fruit.  On the palate, there’s velvety black plums, I love the texture here, along with a zippy freshness. Medium bodied and with only a slight tannic grip, this wine was delicious with antipasto of arancini and olives stuffed with gorgonzola.  87 points, about $15.  Solid value.
~ 2011 Giacomo Borgogno Dolcetto d’ Alba ~
Following the appetizers, we moved onto the wonderful,  Risotto alla Nicola.  I’ve been sampling wines from the Mate portfolio and I’m going to be hard pressed to keep this small artisan winery in Montalcino from becoming one of my favorites.   The instant wine is their 2009 Albatro.
The Mate Albatro is a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot in equal proportions.  My readers will know that I consider blends of these two grapes to be great marriages and this one doesn’t disappoint.  The color in the glass is a vibrant deep ruby with slight purple hues.  The nose, like the recently tasted Mantus is very funky at first.  There is a reduction about it that I find interesting, but some may not like.  There is dark turned earth, autumn leaves, savory tobacco and barnyard tones backing up the crushed fruit.  On the palate, the flavors are primary with pretty sandalwood notes accenting the bright berry flavors.  Not overly complex, but it’s not meant to be.  Lots of food friendly acidity paired it very well with the risotto.  86 points.  About $15. 
~ Mate Albatro:  Merlot & Sangiovese from Montalcino ~

E vero!

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