There aren’t many wines that give you an electric charge when you first meet them. For me San Fereolo is one of them. From the very first sip, the wine that many had described as masculine and austere seemed, on the contrary, incredibly sensual.
I understand the reasons behind the misunderstanding; what can be mistaken for an austere virility is in reality a formal rigour, one that preserves and shields this daring and beautiful Dolcetto, while respecting its profound nature.
Put another way, it’s a baggy sweater trying to conceal the sensuality of a body. It’s the hug of a powerful mother attempting to protect her child from the ugliness of the world. It’s the golden light of the sunrise that envelops the forest without dissolving the darkness beneath it. This is a wine that dares to refute the widespread opinion that a Dolcetto cannot resist the test of time.
In the glass we see a blueberry colored liquid. A delicious grape scent betrays a fake youthfulness. On the nose, it’s an effusion of aromatic herbs, citrus fruit and faded violets. Next to the spicy notes of white pepper, we find a lusty, buttery counterpoint, which makes us want to bite the long sequence of plump red fruits which, curiously, resurface from the most alcoholic to the ones straight from the garden: brandied cherries, baked plums, blackberries, and currants.
In the mouth, it’s a fresh blackberry salad, just like the one my Italian mother used to make. It’s a wine that doesn’t lack anything, dry, fresh, sapid, with well-integrated alcohol, and some delicious tannins which I would dare to call perfect. Thus, this is a wine walking proudly straight at us, without flaws, incredibly correct, sensual and enveloping, carrying us to the next sip and the next.
How could such a wine be austere?