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January 27, 2014

Ceretto Barolo 2010

Ceretto.vineyard1

2010 was a great year throughout most major wine regions in Europe and Piedmont was no exception. 2010 for Barolo is an exceptional vintage and Antonio Galloni posits that the ‘vintage in Barolo is shaping up to be a modern-day classic’. The growing season provided wonderful conditions for winemaking, with cool weather and late-ripening, resulting in wines with vibrant aromatics, beautifully defined fruit and delightful balance. The wines will have the ability to age for decades in bottle, yet due to a combination of very healthy grapes at harvest and a new paradigm in Barolo winemaking the 2010’s can provide immense pleasure now. One thing it is certain 2010 is a collector’s vintage!

This year we will hear a great deal about the 2010 Barolo vintage, not least because of the malaise in Bordeaux and it deserves this attention due to its quality and investability. We are delighted to be able to offer one of the leading protagonists in Barolo, the world famous estate Ceretto. Cerreto is cemented in the parthenon of great Piedmont; however it is an estate that still offers, at least evanescently, real value for money.

The Cerreto family founded their firm in the 1930s and as a result of brilliant developments initiated by Bruno and Marcello in the 1960s, Cerreto has been one of the families to transform the image of world-class Barolo and Barberesco. Of the former, the estate makes three single vineyard wines, which perennially display the characteristics of the terroir, while benefiting from extensive barrique ageing.

It is in their Bricco Rocche Winery that Ceretto achieve their greatest renown, producing their Barolos; Prapo, Brunate and Bricco Roche. The winery was built in 1982 and the structure’s modern design represents the zenith of firmament, combining with the 11 estate hectares in the villages of La Morra, Serralunga d’Alba and Castiglione Falletto.

Ceretto Bricco Rocche Prapo, 2010, 6×75 – £240 EP
In 2010 Ceretto’s Barolo Prapo steals the show outscoring the Bricco Roche with a staggering 96+, remarkable given that it is half the price. The vineyard is located in Serralunga d’Alba and only produces 5,000 bottles from 2.4 hectares. Vinification takes place by floating-cap fermentation, using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks and lasts 14/15 days, followed by a maceration lasting an additional 10/15 days. Ageing takes place in December and the wines are transferred to 300 litre French oak barrels for 12 months, 50% of which is in new oak. This is followed by 12 months in 25 hectolitre wooden casks.

The wine produced is aristocratic, with an ethereal nose of white roses, sage, roasted coffee, liquorice and leather. The wine is muscular with plenty of power yet remains delightfully balanced, with fresh acidity and ripe, round tannin. This is the vineyards greatest ever effort and while many collectors will secure the Bricco Rocche and Brunate the market will gravitate to the Prapo in 2010. With less than 400 cases produced, prices will rise to reflect the exceptional quality: the Ceretto Prapo offers the best quality vs price ratio so far seen in Barolo 2010 and should not be missed.

Ceretto Bricco Rocche Brunate, 2010, 6×75 – £240 EP
Ceretto’s Brunate is located in La Morra, once again with high-altitude, 230-400 meters above sea level. The terroir is distinct which predominates with Sant’Agata Marl, combined with sand, silt and clay. The vines were planted in 1974 and produce 8,000 bottles a year. The ageing is similar to the Bricco Roche and the wine is best described as a smooth Barolo, with scented roses, violets and superb aromatic complexity. It can be consumed with immense pleasure after a few months in bottle and will improve for 20 years.

Ceretto Bricco Rocche, 2010, 6×75 – £570 EP
Ceretto’s Bricco Roche is their flagship wine and this is reflected in the price, recurrently receiving some of the highest critic scores in all Barolo. The single estate is located in Castiglione Falletto which boats superb limestone, mixed with coarse sand, silt and clay at an altitude of 345-370 metres. Ageing takes place in 300 litres oak barrels for 12 months, followed by an additional year in 25 hectolitre casks: the wines are racked as infrequently as possible. The first vintage was in 1982 and the vineyard only produces 3,000 bottles a year. The wine combines a heady juxtaposed mix of power and delicacy; it is always complex yet notable for its elegance, resulting in floral aromas that develop into ethereal spices, chocolates and truffles.

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