The implicit quality ladder of red grape varieties in Langhe (Piedmont)

The Dolcetto grape variety is often regarded as the third most significant red grape type in Piedmont‘s Langhe hills, trailing only the great Nebbiolo and the adaptable Barbera.

Even if Dolcetto is typically regarded favorably locally, this raises the question of an implicit quality ladder of red grape types in the Langhe region.

Based on the basic qualities of each grape type, we can assume that this is the case. Indeed, Dolcetto is regarded as the earliest grape variety to ripen (Barbera follows and Nebbiolo comes last). Dolcetto is the easiest grape variety to grow, whilst Nebbiolo is the most difficult to grow.

Key attributes of the Dolcetto grape variety

Dolcetto is also the first wine to be released as it is the earliest to mature. As a result, Dolcetto wines can be released sooner, providing a pleasant source of income while other wines continue to age in the cellar.

It is also the first wine offered during classic Langhe multi-dish meals (Dolcetto is usually served with antipasti).

Dolcetto also ripens earlier than Nebbiolo and Barbera in areas where these two grape varieties would be unable to ripen.

Finally, Dolcetto is regarded as a fruit-oriented grape that is far less age worthy than Barbera and Nebbiolo.

Key attributes of the Barbera grape variety

For grape farmers, the Barbera grape variety can be viewed as a bridge between the more primary aromas-oriented Dolcetto and the complex and long oak-aged Nebbiolo.

Indeed, the Barbera grape variety provides production and diversity to grape growers. The Barbera grape varietal ripens late yet retains an unusual amount of acidity when completely ripe.

Barbera also has a strong affinity for oak, making it suitable for oak aging in wine cellars, which can boost wine complexity, demand, and, consequently, final price.

Key attributes of the Nebbiolo grape variety

Nebbiolo is often regarded as Italy’s most noble red grape variety. However, it is also regarded as one of the most difficult grape varieties to cultivate.

Indeed, the Nebbiolo grape varietal buds early and ripens late. It is a grape variety that typically struggles to develop and requires the best soils and great sun exposure (south facing) to completely mature.

Follow me on my Social Media

Wine is a gourmet treasure, do not abuse alcohol!

None of this content has been sponsored

I did not receive any gifts or free samples that could be related to this article