Italian wine: The Land and Soul of Ceretto

Mar 16, 2017 143

It’s an exciting month for us as we explore nebbiolo throughout all regions of Italy. The name nebbiolo is derived from the Piemontese word for nebbia, meaning fog. It derives from the fog that comes down from the mountains and roles over the Po Valley helping with the ripening of these grapes. 

Where to find Nebbiolo?

Many are familiar with this fantastic grape via the wines of Barolo and Barberesco, but you can find it outside southern Piedmont including Lombardia where it's known as chiavennasca in the valtellina area and the Valle d’Aosta region in northwestern Italy.  It’s also found in northern Piedmont in the areas of Gattinara and Ghemme where it’s known as spanna.  Of course it takes own its own character depending upon where it is produced and this is what our group will share with you today.

Barbaresco with Ceretto

Today I chose to stay within southern Piedmont in Barbaresco since I haven’t written about this region in some time and I recently had a 2012 Ceretto Barbaresco I wanted to share.

The Ceretto brand was established back in the 1930's when Riccardo Ceretto began producing wine in Alba. His sons, Marcello and Bruno, took over the business in the 60's and really began to take it up a notch. They were purchasing grapes for about 15 years from local owners of parcels of land that they wanted to get their hands on. Land opportunities becoming available for purchase is like finding gold in Italy, especially this area. Their father, Riccardo, didn't believe in purchasing land as he didn't feel anyone gets rich off the soil and he was so used to purchasing grapes himself. The sons waited and waited until the opportunity was available to purchase some cru land in the Roero and Langhe. This was a turning point for the Ceretto family being able to own and have complete control over tending to the vineyards. Today, the winery's vision is carried on by the 3rd generation of the Ceretto family that took over in 1999.

This area that Ceretto is located in, known as the Langhe in southern Italy, is warmer with lots of sunlight and clay soil that aids in producing wines that are big and bold with ripe fruit and higher alcohol. In 2015 the areas of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also in 2015 the Ceretto estate became organically certified and their barolo and barbaresco wines became produced biodynamically. The goal is to eventually make all 160 hectacres of estate owned vineyard both organic and biodynamically produced.

The 2012 Ceretto Barbaresco wine I tasted I actually preferred over their barolo. This wine was originally their top wine also know as Barbaresco Asij until the sons purchased the single-vineyard cru sites. Today their single vineyard wines are Barbaresco Asili and Barbaresco Bernadot. I don't have the experience trying these yet, but would love to. Who wouldn't?! The Ceretto Barbaresco is produced from their estate in Monsordo Bernardina in Alba. Part of the grapes are sourced from the Asili and Treiso areas of the Ceretto estates. Ruby red in color this wine was full of dried cherries on the nose followed by ripe fruit on the palate with integrated tannins along with some vanilla and spice and a lengthy finish. It's aged 24 months in barriques and 6 months in the bottle. SRP $49.99

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