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by Fred McMillin
for April 9, 1998
The Dolcetto grape has grown in Italy for a thousand years. The name means "little sweet one." The grape is deliciously gulpable, as are its wines...soft, round, fruity...to be drunk in the early years. However, it produces well only in suitable sites.
...Daniel Thomases, "The Oxford Companion to Wine"
Of all things, one of those "suitable sites" is the Central Coast of California. The Bargetto winery has made a delightful one from its grapes, exactly what you would expect...a light, gentle red suitable for well-seasoned fish and fowl, as well as a bit more robust fare like ham and veal.
If you want to move from White zinfandel to a light red with more body, you must try this one. But I wouldn't delay. The last figures I saw showed California Dolcetto production to be only 0.03% of the popular Zinfandel, for example.
'96 Dolcetto, California Central Coast
Both the Dolcetto grape and the founding Bargetto brothers, Philip and John, came from Piedmont, Italy.
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