Essential Piedmont - A Game Changer: 2010 San Fereolo Dogliani

Posted by Joe Salamone

Simply put, San Fereolo takes the Dolcetto grape and turns preconceived notions on its head. It casts the grape in a radically different and incredibly compelling light.

San Fereolo introduces an almost unheard of structure, complexity, and soulfulness to the grape.

Dolcetto is roughly translated as "little sweet one," but from San Fereolo you can expect something much more savory and much more profound. San Fereolo is intended to be a Dolcetto for the cellar. 2010 is the current release.

The area of Dogliani is known to be a special place for Dolcetto. This is especially true of the Valdibà and Valdiberti subzones, where the San Fereolo is sourced from. The soil here is limestone and the vines are perfectly situated in the southeast and southwest. The vines for the San Fereolo bottling are 40-70 years old. What results is likely the most structured and elegant expressions of Dolcetto you'll ever taste.

All of this is accentuated in the 2010 vintage. The 2010 San Fereolo is really impressive. In Piedmont, the vintage is famous for being a dream brew of classical structure, concentration and finesse. The San Fereolo flaunts these elements, boasting a shocking amount of lift, clarity and depth.

I can remember the first time that I tasted a San Fereolo and how it blew me away. In terms of both flavor profile and sheer complexity, it completely opened my eyes to what Dolcetto was capable of.

The 2010 is a prime example of the heights that it can reach. It delivers a multidimensional complexity while brimming with mysterious depth. There's earth, leather, spice, smoke, graphite and dark fruits. It's all delivered with a tannic grip and precision. The total package makes it clear that this will age beautifully.

San Fereolo's owner, Nicoletta Bocca, is an absolutely fascinating personality. She studied philosophy, worked in fashion and finally, landed in Piedmont. She was greatly assisted by Alessandro Fantino, who was Bartolo Mascarello's cellar master at the time. Her connection to Piedmont came from her father, who was a partisan during the Second World War and lived in the hills of Piedmont. Many of the great traditionalists of Barolo would provide the partisans with food. It's well worth checking out Levi Dalton's I'll Drink To That! interview with Nicoletta Bocca for her incredible perspective on the Piedmont and wine in general.

Her San Fereolo is one of the special bottles that causes you to look at things anew and rethink the neat categories you had set in place. It's a space that very few wines occupy and a real testament to Nicoletta Bocca's vision and hard work.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits