• сhristinabutorina

2019 #Piemonte | Ceretto winery, Alba

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

Actually I was not able to fix an appointment in advance to visit the cellars of Ceretto, as my schedule was completely full and we didn't find the dates matching our both sides. But I was kindly proposed to come to taste their #wines any day (tasting room is open everyday from morning till evening), once I had a free time on Sunday afternoon and would love to stay in a nice quiet place, then I drove up from Barolo towards Alba to visit tasting room of Ceretto. Absolutely right decision though.

Ceretto family is a very well-known #Barolo producer in Piemonte as well worldwide. The headquaters' winery Monsordo Bernardina is located in calm and quiet area, right on the hills, with awesome surroundings and views.

By the way there are trekking options throughout Ceretto vineyards available, but should be guided I guess. Next time for sure.

Very nice looking #cellars are actually almost open, so basically you can take a look at them easily right on the way to tasting area.

Botti of UFO shape (like this type)...

...and small barrels. Classics.

Short historical splash. Ceretto winery was established in 30s by first generation Riccardo Ceretto. Later on, Bruno and Marcello, Riccardo's sons, purchased #vineyards in Langhe and Roero, taking parcels in some of the best crus of Barolo and Barbaresco. In the 80s #Langhe Arneis Blange was launched, iconic still white wine of the estate. Barolo Bricco Rocche also went to the market those times. In the 90s third generation of the family joined to run the estate.

In the late 90s the Chapel of Barolo (yes, this famous colorblocking one) was renovated by artists David Tremlett and Sol Lewitt. In the 00s in the Bricco Rocce cru famous glass cube was built, became an iconic construction in Barolo #wine area. From the 2015 vintage all Ceretto products have organic certification.

Besides crafting great wines, Ceretto family has lots of projects of promotion fine #food and modern art. Like two restaurants in Alba, one of which is Piazza Duomo, where kitchen is managed by chef Enrico Crippa awarded with 3 #MichelinStar at the moment. Tasting space in the main #winery is enlarged with l'Acino (=the grape), a small modern construction overlooking amazing Langhe hills.

Ceretto estate owns 160 hectares of the vineyards, of which are 11 hectares in Barolo zone, 8 hectares in Barbaresco area and the rest is dedicated for crafting other wines.

Langhe Arneis DOC Blange

Grapes: Arneis 100%

Vintage: 2018

Alcohol: 13%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel

Ageing: in stainless steel

Nose: white flowers, lemon peel, white peach, green apple

Palate: fresh, mineral, citrus

This very nice #Arneis is crafted in a special way, it has a slightly pinching effect (kind of teeny tiny super gentle fizz), it's almost invisible, but you can clearly feel it on the palate. Refreshing, pleasant and fruitforward white with bitter citrus notes, crisp acidity and flowery aromas. Liked that pinching effect on the palate in combination with great fruity and mineral flavours of Arneis #grape, definitely enjoyable.

Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC Bernadina

Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2017

Alcohol: 14%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel

Ageing: in old oak barrels

Nose: ripe raspberry, blackberry, violet, black tea leaves

Palate: tannic, earthy

Young and pretty #Nebbiolo full of ripe berries, flowers and dried leaves' aromas. Delicate oak flavours like tobacco and spicy notes make it rather complex. Strong tannins create good structure, the wine definitely can be aged for years, but it is still very good for drinking at its youth.

The most important parcels of the estate are in Barolo crus Bricco Rocche, Brunate, Prapo, Bussia and Cannubi San Lorenzo.

Actually I'm a huge fan of the talent of Alessandro Ceretto, the enologist of the estate, he crafts Barolo crus in an extraordinary style. For me personally they are ideal. In love with them all. And, moreover (my lovely topic), they are completely ready to drink even while young. Opening a bottle of Ceretto Barolo cru of recent #vintage is definitely unmistakable choice, whilst same vintage can be kept for another 20 years and then found absolutely enjoyable as well. Among all tasted during this trip Ceretto Barolos are the most beautiful, sophisticated and elegant at their youth. Chapeau.

Barolo DOCG

Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 14,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel

Ageing: in oak barrels

Nose: strawberry, dried roses, coffee, smoke

Palate: rich texture, round mid palate

This classic Barolo is crafted by blending the grapes from vineyards of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, La Morra and Serralunga d'Alba. It is a combination of two characters: more gentle and elegant part of La Morra and Barolo with more austere and masculine part from Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga. At the end, there is a balance between these two opposites, achieved in a perfect manner. The interpretation of all four crus in one #bottle results in complex and rich wine with full body.

Barolo DOCG Prapo

Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 15%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel

Ageing: in oak barrels

Nose: dried cranberry, dried herbs, leather, tar

Palate: muscled, full body

This Barolo is a blast. Prapo is one of my favorite crus in Barololand, it is located in Serralunga d'Alba at 270-380 m above sea level. The soils are mainly silt and clay, which results in the wine with strong serious character, but bright and lively in the same time. Ceretto crafts this #wine from Nebbiolo given by old vines planted in the 70s. Great complexity, firm structure, big tannins, multilayered aromas of dried red berries, flowers and leathery notes of oak ageing. However all those masculine features are wrapped around in a very smart way, giving a touch of gentleness on the mid palate, so you are not just being constantly bombarded by #tannins and direct fruit flavours, but feel that complexity in the well mixed features. Lovely Barolo, definitely a catch.

Barolo DOCG Brunate

Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 14,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel

Ageing: in oak barrels

Nose: raspberry, red currant, pencil shavings, cloves

Palate: elegant, velvety

This Barolo Brunate so far is my fave among all Barolos. Super sexy wine. Extreme elegance, sophistication and finesse. It takes you and doesn't let you go. Terrific and sensitive wine. Fully ready to drink at the young age. Homage to enologist. Totally in love.

Brunate is one of my favorite crus, maybe even the most favorite. It is shared between La Morra and Barolo communes and gives the most beautiful Barolos ever. The vines are planted on the altitudes 230-400 m on the #soils of mainly marl of Saint Agata fossils and partially with sand. Ceretto family owns in Brunate about 5 hectares, crafting such fabulous wine from it.

Barolo DOCG Bricco Rocche

Grapes: Nebbiolo 100%

Vintage: 2009

Alcohol: 14,5%

Vinification: alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel

Ageing: in oak barrels

Nose: dried cherry, dried strawberry, cigar box, grinded coffee, nutmeg

Palate: intense, persistent

Top of Ceretto's line up, the most complicated, rich and powerful Barolo. Bricco Rocche is the smallest #cru in the area, its size is just about an hectare. It is one of the most prestigious parts located on the hilltop between Villero and Rocche di Castiglione, Bricco Rocche is a monopole of Ceretto family. The altitude is about 350-370 m above sea level, the soil is a mix of sand, silt and clay.

Actually I was tasting two vintages 2015 and 2009 in the same time to compare an evolution. Both are of the highest quality, no doubts, and both are stunning #wines. Recent vintage 2015 has, of course, more grippy tannins and punching you harder with its young features, demonstrating more fruitforward character. Vintage 2009 is already more calm, quiet and tranquil, it is mature and talking to you softly, opening itself very slowly, layer by layer, with more refine aromas of cigar, balsamic and roasted nuts. Outstanding wine with endless aromatic profile and extraordinary flavours.

Lots of thanks to Andrea Sozzi for sharing with me the tasting experience and managing my visit in the best way.

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