2009 Buoncristiani Dolcetto
WINEMAKER JAY BUONCRISTIANI'S RECENT TASTING NOTES:
62% Napa and 38% Mendocino ( Bartolomei Ranch) - 125 cases originally crafted. Yum! Bright raspberry caramel, vanilla, new French oak, spice rack, creamed plum on the nose. Bright acidity, cherry, plum, and raspberry on the palate with a slight cranberry tannin and a soft finish. Plenty of bright fruit. My favorite of the three Mendocino Dolcettos. Drink now or over the next two to three years.
ORIGINAL TECHNICAL NOTES:
Our paternal grandfather, Nonno, immigrated to California from Northern Italy and brought his passion for food, wine, art, and family tradition. The Buoncristiani brothers, Nonno’s grandsons, planted Dolcetto to be crafted into a wine as a tribute to their roots, and in honor of Nonno.
Rarely grown outside of Italy, we fortunately found a great source of Dolcetto for planting material. Together with our friends, we brothers planted our Clone 69 Dolcetto in Yountville in a site warm enough to ensure an ultra ripe wine yet cool enough to mirror the Northwestern Piedmont region of Italy, Dolcetto’s origin. We also source some great Dolcetto from the Unti Vineyard in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley owned by another passionate Italian family.
We instill our strict viticultural practices at these exclusive sites and thus ensure our highest standard of quality. The best wines are made in the vineyard and with Dolcetto this is especially true. The typical large crop set by Dolcetto is thinned to one cluster per shoot and the huge clusters that remain are trimmed to half their size to achieve cluster uniformity and concentration of varietal flavor.
Following harvest, we cold soaked the lots for two days, then initiated fermentation slowly with an Italian yeast strain that was isolated from a Piedmont vineyard. During fermentation we hand punched the cap five times a day, extracting the rich flavor, color, and tannin from the thick skins. The small batches were kept separate during fermentation, after pressing, and throughout the first year of aging in French oak barrels. During the second year of barrel aging, the vineyard components were blended together to create optimum complexity while retaining balance, varietal character, and superior quality.
We, the Buoncristiani brothers, take pride in performing all aspects of enology, viticulture, wine production, and art design in order to share with you a true expression of our winemaking passion.