22-08-2016

Ceretto Barbaresco 2013, it does go boom

If I were to tell you that Nebbiolo was spelled with two b’s, you’d look at me like I was an imbecile as yes, there are indeed two b’s in Nebbiolo. But, if I were to ask you what the two b’s were, well, you’d probably still look at me like I was an imbecile as they’re obviously just letters. Duh.

But when it comes to Nebbiolo, these b’s make for an easy way to remember the two main regions in Italy with this grape which are Barolo and Barbaresco. The first is difficult as it needs countless years to age before it reaches its full elegance and the prices have been launching upwards as collectors now see it as an “affordable” Burgundy alternative. While some producers are now creating Barolo that is to drink earlier, that $15 2013 Barolo at Trader Joe’s is probably a no-go.

Barbaresco is a different beast and the Nebbiolo wine I more often find myself drinking. The costs aren’t nearly as dear and it’s much more approachable much earlier on. There’s also a lot more of it produced than in Barolo so you can find it more easily. The downside is that you do need to know what you’re buying as not all of it is amazing, but that’s generally the case with most wine, no?

This bottle from Ceretto I admittedly picked up a bit randomly to broaden my palate as one should always do. Based upon the price at 40€ retail, I did however assume it to be something a bit more special as if you’re going to charge that for a Barbaresco and sell it in Spain, it’s going to need to stack up.

Despite this being their “basic” Barbaresco, it’s from the village of La Morra which is known for being a bit more “Barolo-esque” than others in this DOCG. It’s made with natural yeast and submerged cap fermentation which is a method I won’t go in to boring detail about except to say that the wines I’ve tasted that use it really get an impressive flavor profile when it’s done well. Of course the 24 months in oak doesn’t hurt either, although it’s been done so well with larger and seemingly older barrels that the integration is nearly seamless.

It’s drinking wonderfully in this moment and is full of nuance and multiple layers of complexity. That said, you can just pop it open and start enjoying as it has zero pretensions to it. Highly recommendable if looking for a solid Barbaresco and it can even stand to age a bit longer.

Ceretto Barbaresco 2013
Somewhat light in color but still a vibrant ruby. Lovely aromas of dried herbs, forest floor, truffle, and a shake of vanilla around the edges. Excellent strength with a medium plus spine to it and characteristic acidity that drives the wine in to a good yet somewhat less lengthy finish than one would expect.

100% Nebbiolo 14% 40€
**+