Five reds from Piedmont: Dolcetto, Barbera & Nebbiolo

La Torricella Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Dosso’ 2013, Piedmont, Italy (£9.99 Red Squirrel Wine)
Honest, tasty and eminently gluggable young wine, full of crunchy red berry flavours, with a light candied character and some earthy, herby notes chipping in for good measure. S

Villa dei Ladri Langhe 2013, Piedmont, Italy (£13.99 Laithwaites)
Combines the supple, weighty berry (red and black) and cherry depth of Barbera with the rose-tinged perfume, iron-like notes ands chewiness of Nebbiolo. Grows on you… S-

Renato Ratti ‘Battaglione’ Barbera d’Asti 2012, Piedmont, Italy (£16.99 Mr & Mrs Fine Wine, Zelas Wine, Partridges, Dike & Son)
There’s a slightly sweet, summer puddingy like quality to the fruit here, a hint of violets and a hearty, meaty quality that speaks of good old-fashioned winemaking. Plush and welcoming, but with a fresher cranberry edge to maintain decorum. S

Franco Mondo Barbera d’Asti Superiore ‘Vigna del Salice’ 2011, Piedmont, Italy (£15.99 Red Squirrel Wine)
There’s no shortage of dense plummy berry fruit here, but I question whether the overlay of smoky, vanilla-scented oak, with its slightly green tannic edge, is just a bit OTT. B(+)

Cantina Produttori “Nebbiolo di Carema” Carema 2008, Piedmont, Italy (£12.49
Opinions will differ here. Some will love the louche cooked strawberry flavours, leathery meaty overtones and the haunting old-rose fragrance that develops as the wine opens up; others will consider it tannic and past its best. Me? I still can’t make my mind up… S-

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