After working for Slow Food for many years, Sandro Barosi of Cascina Corte decided to purchase a small, six hectare farm and winery in Dogliani, Piemonte. Located about 30 minutes south of the esteemed village of Barolo, Dogliani is considered one of the most noteworthy areas for the cultivation of Dolcetto grapes. In fact, the name “Dogliani” has come to imply the varietal, and winemakers are no longer required to put the name Dolcetto on the label. Sandro Barosi’s Pirochetta, is a unique expression of the Dolcetto. He produced his first vintage in 2003.
In the beginning, Sandro experienced skin rashes and headaches working in the vineyards, ailments he attributed to the chemicals used as herbicides and pesticides. He quickly decided that organic was the only way to farm. He immediately began working “in bio” and applied for organic certification shortly thereafter. Sandro wanted to make it safe for himself to work and for his small children to play within the vines.
Sandro Barosi’s Pirochetta is a unique expression of Dolcetto, rich in flavor and in body. The grapes for this exceptional wine come from Sandro Barosi’s small, sixty year-old vineyard. Its soils are composed of a combination of calcareous-clay and blue schist. Sandro typically harvests this vineyard latest and chooses to do longer macerations (contact between grape skins and juice) to ensure a richly flavored wine. The wine rests in stainless steel for a minimum of eighteen months and another two months in bottle before release. This is a definite food wine! Pair it with meat dishes such as roasted pork, beef brisket or lamb as well as with mushroom risotto, polenta, or pasta. It benefits from decanting, so plan on opening it an hour before sitting down for dinner to fully experience its intoxicating bouquet of wild cherries, flowers, delicate spice, and earth.
Gemma Iannoni is the Wine Buyer and a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.