Dolcetto originates in the Piedmont region of Italy, where it is overshadowed by the more powerful and concentrated Nebbiolo and even Barbera. In California, there are less than 100 acres under vine, typically grown by expatriate Italians. The grape produces deeply-pigmented wines, thick with fruit character, high in natural acidity and having only mild tannins. Dolcetto is best consumed young, as its youthful fruit character fades quicker than its acidity.

Lake County can produce phenomenal wines and the 2005 Rosa D’ Oro Dolcetto is one of them. Sticking to old-school winemaking techniques, this winemaker has brought out the best in this grape.

Rosa D' Oro With three years in the bottle, this wine is just where you want it to be; bright, lively, smooth and polished. It will probably keep those characteristics for a few years to come. I am not usually one to comment on color but this wine merit’s recognition. This is probably the deepest purple I have ever seen (other than that purple haze episode in 71 but that’s another story).


The smell does not glorify the flavors in a way that shows respect and that’s too bad but maybe the flavors are so huge it would be impossible to show respect with aromas that parallel the flavor; in fact aromas that huge would scare an ordinary person. This Dolcetto has deep dark berry flavors; almost like raspberry chocolate ganache, accented with spice and herbs. The depth of flavor and finesse from an under utilized varietal makes this Dolcetto from Rosa D’ Oro a standout wine and an incredible find considering its relative value. Lake County is definately representing this varietal well where others fall short.

Rosa D’ Oro Dolcetto 2005
Region: California – Lake County
ABV: 13.5%
Score: 91
Value: $22.00