Barolo Tour 2011 - Ceretto
Ceretto is one of the top producers we haven't visited prior to this years Barolo Tour.
Therefore it was a little speciel when we drove to the address Strada Provinciale Alba/Barolo, Località San Cassiano, 34, 12051 Alba
for the first time ever. I little out of the neighborhood compared to the other producers but absolutely worth going the extra mile for.
Ceretto is one of quite a few producers that produces both Barbaresco and Barolo and who can say no to that?
Initially - in the planning of the Barolo Tour 2011 - we had a little problem in communication. Ceretto insisted that we should prebook our visit directly on the website and choose what kind of tasting we would like - and pay for it. The prices depend on which wines you choose to taste.
Yours truly was just about to have a heart attack, and I made sure that the next mail stated that we were wine journalists wanting to visit and write an article about the winery.
Kind answer from Ceretto, regaining normal blood pressure , free of charge, my mood back to normal again - all in a matter of 5 minutes - a little misunderstanding, no problem :-)
Ceretto is truly an amazing place to visit. State of the art visit area with a large glass bubble, called Acino, with a panorama view to all the vineyards in the area - almost 180 degress.
Perhaps you wonder why there isn't a photo of this unique glass bubble. It's be course it's impossible to take a photo of it. We would have had to place ourselves in the vineyard 6 meters below in hilly terrain. That was not an option!
We start this article with some facts about Ceretto.
In the late 1930's Riccardo Ceretto founds the Casa Vinicola Ceretto wine business. 1957 - Bruno Ceretto (born 1937) finishes school and begins working with his father, following the commercial side of the business.
1961 - Marcello Ceretto (born 1941) joins the family business as well. Marcello and Bruno begin their selection of the best cru vineyards in the Barolo and Barbaresco areas, an innovative move at the time.
1970 - Purchase of the Bricco Asili vineyard in Barbaresco, the first estate-owned vineyard. Construction of the first winery begins, Bricco Asili, where only Barbaresco wines are produce. 1977 - Construction begins in Castiglione Falletto on the Bricco Rocche winery, where exclusively single-vineyard, cru Barolo wines are produced.
1986 - Debut of the 1982 vintage of the Bricco Rocche Bricco Rocche Barolo. 1987 - Transfer of the company's official headquarters to the Monsordo Bernardina Estate. 1999 - Bruno and Marcello's four children join the company - Lisa, Roberta, Alessandro and Federico.
2009 - The Acino is inaugurated at the Monsordo Bernardina Estate, along with a new visitor center dedicated to welcoming the wine tourist 7 days a week, integrating a bold and modern architectural design with the surrounding landscape.
Above you see a picture taken in the cellar containing barriques. Notice the red area on the barriques. It's just to cover the stains from red wine. To the left you see a picture from the cellar taken in the area where the wine is aged in large botti.
The little picture shows that the vinery has an eye on the temperature all the time. Nessesary to achieve a perfect wine.
The Ceretto family is one of the largest vineyard proprietors in Piedmont with more than 160 hectares of estate-owned vineyards, located primarily in the Langhe and Roero region, including in the prestigious DOCG areas of Barolo and Barbaresco.
The family owns four wine estates in the Langhe, each devoted to the production of specific wines and each named for its geographic location:
Bricco Rocche in the village of Castiglione Falletto, where single-vineyard Barolo wines are produced
Bricco Asili in the village of Barbaresco, home to the single-vineyard Barbaresco wines
Monsordo Bernardina in Alba, dedicated to the production of wines from the Langhe and Roero areas
I Vignaioli Santo Stefano, in the village of Santo Stefano Belbo dedicated entirely to the production of Moscato wines
Back to this day, back to the guided tour and winetasting...
When you are on your way to the tasting area you pass the Ceretto familys private wine cellar with dark glass and illuminated by blue light. All the previous vintages are stocked here - of course air conditioned all year round. A few meters ahead you join the large visiting area with a little shop, where you can buy a lot of wine assessories and of course the wines at a quite fair price. But the Acino is by far the most spectacular thing in the area.
From here you have a panorama view over the vineyards in the area. Amazing.
To the left you see a nice bottle of Barolo 1962 - not a part of the tasting this day, a part of the permanent exibition in the visiting area.
This was to become a wine tasting after our taste. As soon as we went into the tasting area, we were asked by our tour guide, which wines we wanted to taste. We selected quite a few, and it became even more during the afternoon! There is a lot of wines to select from. This is an overview of the range of wines from Ceretto:
Below you see Vinhulen.dk placed around the table just before the start of the tasting. Of course there are private tasting rooms for every individual group of people :-)
Langhe Arneis Blangé
Langhe Bianco Arbarei
Dolcetto d'Alba Rossana
Barbera d'Alba Piana
Langhe Rosso Monsordo
Barbaresco Bricco Asili
Barolo Bricco Rocche
Barolo Cannubi San Lorenzo
17 different wines - white, red, sparkling and dessert
Ceretto dosn't make any bad wines - it's from good quality to outstanding quality only, and the most famous wines in the european market is Barbaresco Asili, Barbaresco Bricco Asili, Barolo Brunate, Barolo Bricco Rocche and Barolo Cannubi San Lorenzo.
But we have to say that we found a lot of other interesting wines apart from the above mentioned!
We were to taste quite a few of these wines on that november day in 2011.
Here is a list of the wines, we tasted. If you want to see our review of a particulary wine or more, just click on the wine, and you'll be forwarded to our wine database with almost 5.000 Italian wine reviews:
Langhe Arneis Blangé 2010, Ceretto
Langhe Bianco Arbarei 2009, Ceretto
Langhe Rosso Monsordo 2009, Ceretto
Barbaresco Bernardot 2008, Ceretto
Barbaresco Bricco Asili 2008, Ceretto
Barolo Brunate 2007, Ceretto
Barolo Prapò 2007, Ceretto
Barolo Bricco Rocche 2007, Ceretto
To the left you see Barolo Brunate 2007 and to the right you see Barolo Bricco Rocche 2007 - 2 absolutely fabulous wines at the highest standard known to Barolo freaks.
A wine tasting for wine journalists at Ceretto is miles apart from wine tastings anywhere else in the area. Personal service by one or more of the young ladies always present in the visiting area. The wines are perfectly cooled, perfectly served and there is one glass for each wine - and it's not the cheap kind of glasses, we can assure you.
At any point in time you can just ask for another wine from the large range. Perfect opportunity to give you the full review of a present vintage for sale in your wine store, no matter what your favorite wine is from Ceretto.
As we wrote ealiere in the article, you will have to pay for a wine tasting, if you are a tourist. But the price is fair, and the quality is high.
On the day of visiting Ceretto, we didn't have the opportunity to see "production" in action. The main estate in Monsordo Bernardina in Alba is dedicated to the production of wines from the Langhe and Roero areas. All the wines were already transported into barriques or large barrels for ageing. A lot of other places round the area is dedicated to some of the other wines in the prodution range.
The estate in Monsordo Benardina is a state of the art winery, but if you visit without seeing the cellar, you'll get the feeling, that this is just a large shop and tasting area. No owner, no winemaker, no workers in the vineyards etc.
Therefore - visit the cellar at the same time. It gives you the feeling, that this a real winery...
Quite often you'll hear, that big in the Barolo area is bad and leads to lower quality in the wine. Everybody loves the dream about the Italian family in the little family business. Ceretto is a family business, big family business - 2 fathers and 4 children in several vineyards and winerys - but it's still a family business.
Perhaps the most modern and visionary producer in the area. 2 lines of wines - one for young people and one for mature people. The old style has a classic label and bottle shape, like we are used to, and the new style comes in different shape of the bottle and no label but font written directly on the bottle with yellow letters.
It's important to suply the demand for classic wines, but it is also extremely important to listen to new generations and try to make wine according to the wishes from them. Ceretto is in the front row, when it comes to that.
After a very, very nice tour through the cellars followed by the wine tasting, it was time to say goodbye and move on to new adventures in the Barolo area.
As we are accustomed, the last thing to do is a group photo. The light is bad, but I think, you can see, that we had a nice time at Ceretto.
We end this article by mention a special rule that Ceretto is one of quite a few producers to benefit from. Ceretto has the right to call their wines Barolo, even if some of their properties is outside the official Barolo area. Some other properties has the same right, such as Bruno Giacosa, property in Neive and Poderi Luigi Einaudi, property in Dogliani etc.
This special rule dosn't comply for new estates, only some of the old ones.
The wines of Ceretto is imported to Denmark by Danish Wine Cellars A/S.