Giovanni and Silvano Pasquero-Elia tend a precious perch on the south-facing hillsides of Barbaresco, but that doesn't mean it's okay to overlook their holdings elsewhere in Piedmont. After all, Dolcetto, along with Barbera, is the wine that the locals drink on an everyday basis, and the best Dolcettos are as lovingly crafted as the region's Nebbiolo-based wines.
The Paitin estate has been around since the 18th century, when Benedetto Elia purchased two hectares in Serra Boella, so the family has had plenty of time to perfect their Dolcetto. The results of this legacy are fully visible in this 2007 effort. The 2007 vintage in Piedmont was dry and warm, until a cool September helped slow down the maturation of the grapes. This allowed the Dolcetto to achieve its trademark acidity, but also helped generate an appealing plushness, along with the classic touch of sweetness on the finish that one finds in Dolcetto.
But perhaps most memorable part of this wine were the expressive hints of violet that greeted us as soon as we cracked open the bottle-- like a bundle of fresh cut flowers. We already had a sense of why the folks in Piedmont drink this stuff every day. But this was a confirmation. Who wouldn't want fresh cut violets every evening?
The Paitin Estate
Intensely ruby red in color, this wine has a concentrated, rich nose of violets and blackberry. It's warm and soft on the palate, with a pleasantly tannic, undeniably persistent finish.
Pair this wine with pasta and a fresh tomato sauce, and don't be shy with the basil. If you're feeling less ambitious, this is also wonderful with pizza.