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A dark-hued, spicy, berry-stuffed beauty

2018 Dolcetto d’Alba, Massolino, Piemonte, Italy 

£19.95, leaandsandeman.co.uk, slurp.co.ukoldbridgewine.co.uk

I am currently putting the finishing touches to my 2020 Piemonte Report and although this huge body of tasting notes focuses on the nebbiolo grape, most notably featuring the greatest barolos and barbarescos in this epic region, I have also included a handful of elite barberas and dolcetto, from the top estates, too.I adore the dolcetto grape – if Piemontese nebbiolo is as sensual and regal as the finest Burgundian pinot noir, then dolcetto has the immediate-drinking, cheerful and uplifting attitude of Beaujolais! 

Franco Massolino presides over one of the superstar wineries in the region and he makes a densely fruited dolcetto from his vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba. He recalls, “My grandfather had a glass of dolcetto with every meal. He loved its drinkability and regarded it as the perfect match for the food of the Langhe.” Massolino Senior was spot on and this wine is the finest vintage that I have tasted from this incredible winery to date. 

In order to underline its sublime class, I can assure you that it is already drinking perfectly, as the balance of fruit and acidity is pinpoint accurate. All this wine needs is a quick swirl around a decanter and this dark-hued, spicy, berry-stuffed, glamorous beauty is ready to go. 

All you need to do now is knock up a plate of Tajarin al ragù di salsiccia and you will be in food and wine heaven, otherwise known as Piemonte!

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com)

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