Enticed by foreign (American) buyers who prefer bigger wines with thicker skins that mirror the style of California Cabs, winemakers began to rip out their Dolcetto plantings in the 1990’s in favor of the more expensive, easier to market Barolo and Barberescos. It came down to money, not quality and quietly the wine world mourned.
But it wasn’t the case for all of Piedmont, particularly in Dogliani just south of Alba, where grand cru vineyards are not Nebbiolo– they’re Dolcetto. Heck, the grape is so sacred in Dogliani, most wineries like today’s Anna Maria Abonna doesn’t even make a Nebbiolo! All the best spots in the vineyard are reserved for Dolcetto. And with good reason.
Anna Maria’s vineyard is the highest elevation in all of Dogliani. The original plantings, the work of Anna Maria’s grandfather in the 1930’s are still being utilized today, producing incredibly beautiful dark fruited gems with wonderful natural acidity thanks to the high elevation and cool, breezy nights.