Today we are thrilled to be able to release a stunning 2017 Barbaresco staple from Piedmont’s landmark producer, Ceretto. 2017 vintage was not the easiest vintage for most of Europe and Barbaresco was no exception with vignerons  faced with frost and hailstorms in April followed by a very hot and dry summer, requiring small and extremely selective yields for the top growers. However, what little wine was produced from this vintage is certainly worth seeking out as attested to by Monica Larner of the The Wine Advocate, “I remain impressed by the vivid and articulate fruit flavors, the intensity and overall balance presented in these wines. Wines from Barbaresco show classic lines and added richness, […] Overall, these are accessible and approachable wines ready to drink straight out of the gate or with a few extra years of cellaring.”  It is also worth noting that Barbaresco is a region which has steadily been coming out of the shadow of its Nebbiolo producing neighbour Barolo and if there are any wines who can claim to be putting this region on the global map, it is unquestionably those of Ceretto. Ian D’Agata of Vinous has previously made the claim, “In Italy and around the world, Barolo may grab most of Piedmont’s wine spotlight, but the truth is that Barbaresco can be capable of similar magic. […] A closer look at Barbaresco’s production over recent decades reveals a bevy of outstanding world-class wines made in the region, including those by Bruno Rocca, Cigliuti, Giuseppe Cortese, Sottimano and others. That list also includes Ceretto’s marvelous Barbaresco Asili.”
To begin, we introduce their classic Barbaresco which is a blend of 75% of their single vineyard Bernadot and 25% of Asili. Monica Larner had plenty of praise for it, awarding it 93 points, “this wine offers broad brush strokes of wild berry, spice, licorice and iron ore. That’s exactly the mission of this wine: It provides an authentic portrait of a grape. Fruit represents a blend from various sites, including young vines from Asili and the lower parts of Bernadot. This wine is poised for near and medium-term drinking.” James Suckling is also in agreement with a further 94 points, stating, “Really open, rich and complex on the nose, showing dried roses, strawberries and cherries. Full-bodied, layered, rich and flavorful with dried-strawberry, white-truffle and mushroom undertones. Juicy and fruity at the end. A little more opulence than normal. Hard not to drink now, but better after 2022.” Available today at just £220 per case of six IB, this is an absolutely irresistible wine to be enjoyed as soon as it arrives in your home.

To follow is the 2017 single vineyard Barbaresco Bernadot, produced from an organic and biodynamically farmed 4.8-hectare vineyard at 400 metres above sea level. Galloni was smitten with its darkly spiced expressiveness, awarding it 94 points“Sumptuous and inviting, the Bernardot captures so much of what makes the best 2017 Barbarescos so appealing. Readers will find a racy, supple Barbaresco that will drink well right out of the gate” with an additional 94+ point score from Larner who found it to be “a beautiful creation,” which“plays up its elegance and its graceful personality.” Available today at £430 per case of six IB, this is certainly one of the standout wines of the entire vintage and should not be missed.
Finally to complete the trio is the 2017 Barbaresco Asili, an extremely special site, which Ian D’Agata has previously singled out for a vertical retrospective tasting, describing the exceptional characteristics of this tiny 1.3 hectare site “Ceretto’s Barbaresco Asili is a wine of great refinement and perfume, harmonious acidity and silky tannins, exuding archetypal Nebbiolo aromas and flavors of sour red cherry, wild red berries, sweet spices and violet (and tar with age). The wine’s mouthfeel is especially interesting, as the Asili is remarkably graceful and light on its feet, a characteristic that immediately distinguishes Barbaresco from Barolo.” Their 2017 Asili certainly lives up to the sterling reputation of the site, with Larner awarding it 95 Points, detailing, “Their 2017 Barbaresco Asili brings you close to a sense of place. Fruit comes from a 1.3-hectare site with classic Sant’Agata marl soils. Beyond the dark fruit, much of the bouquet recalls crushed stone and iron rust, with other territory-specific aromas that are characteristic of Nebbiolo in its most naked state. You feel a touch of earthiness too, thanks to those slightly looser, open-knit tannins. Shaved truffle, dried blackberry and pressed rose seal the deal.” We have only a small amount of cases available today at £660 per case of six IB, we are also able to offer a special price of £1250 for a case of each wine in this terrific trio today.
Ceretto can trace its roots back to the 1900s when Riccardo Ceretto began a merchant house to trade wines in Alba and in the 1930s, he founded the eponymously named house of Ceretto. The following generations began to buy some of the most desirable real estate in Barolo and Barbaresco, such prizes most Estates could only dream of owning today. Under the guidance of brothers Bruno and Marcello the Ceretto family built up a standing for wines of the highest calibre, investing in further leading crus in the region. The two brothers are credited for pioneering the modern style of winemaking in Piedmont forwarding the specialisation of Estate-bottled, single vineyard wines, establishing them as among the most prescient and progressive wine makers of the Barolo and Barbaresco, becoming one of the first Langhe wineries to gain a worldwide following as early as the 1970s, at a time when Barolo and Barbaresco were relatively unknown outside of their native Italy.
Today it is run by Bruno and Marcello’s children, Lisa, Roberto, Alessandro and Federico, who will now steer the Estate through what is surely becoming known as its golden age. The wines are made exclusively from the family’s own vineyards within Barolo and Barabaresco, including 11 hectares located in the Barolo communes of La Morra, Serralunga and Castiglione Falleto as well as the very best sites within Barbaresco including Asili, Bernadot, Pajoré, Rabajà and Santo Stefano. The jewel in the crown of their Barbaresco portfolio is undoubtably their 1.3 hectares of the Asili cru (out of a total of 14.25 hectares), which they had the foresight to purchase from the local church in 1973. The southwest facing vines with an average of 40 years of age are perched atop the Asili hill at 270 to 290 metres above sea level with calcareous marly clay soils.
In 2000 the family decided once again to become the vanguard of change, switching to sustainable practices in the vineyard and cellar. However, their secret remains their exceptional terroir, curated over a century and the envy of many. Further strides to modernisation were achieved when they commissioned a state-of-the-art building at their Bricco Rocche winery, which is now known as The Cube, a transparent cube which overlooks their vineyards. In 2009 they built ‘The Grape’ in their Monsordo Bernardina winery, a transparent bubble, suspended over the vines. It is famous for wine travel in which travellers can gaze upon the multicoloured Chapel in the middle of the vineyards, which was painted by artists such as Sol LeWitt and I.M. Pei.