Today we continue to bang the drum of Barolo and are thrilled to be able to offer a look back at the 2015 vintage to offer the wine of the vintage at its first tranche release price. The 2015 and 2016 vintages will be remembered as two of the greatest ever for Barolo. The 2015 vintage was exceptional, with a cold winter, which saw much snow and a long prolonged cool and rainy spring, which replenished the water tables. This was serendipitous as the coming July would be the hottest ever on record. The first two weeks in August continued in the same way, though diurnal temperatures and the full water tables meant the vines grew without stress. During the second half of August temperatures dropped further at night, allowing for perfect development of aroma. The harvest came a week earlier than average, though with high sugar ripeness. As such the twin vintages have raised the watermark for those to come, the 2015 associated with fuller, riper and more lavish leitmotif.

 

Today we release the wines of Ceretto, of which in 2015 Monica Larner of The Wine Advocate says she was ‘awestruck by the extreme quality, grace and elegance presented here. I have no doubt that this is the strongest set of new Ceretto wines I have ever had the privilege to taste.’ Indeed, she goes on to award their flagship wine Bricco Rocche with the highest score of the entire vintage.

 

First is their basic Barolo which puts most Crus to shame awarded 94 points from Monica Larner. Of it Larner says ‘The Ceretto 2015 Barolo is a great wine to pair with fassona, the famous beef from this region, or any other typical Piedmontese meat dish. Producers hate this “base” descriptor, because it implies an inferior product to a cru. Don’t be misled: This is a Barolo-lover’s Barolo. It’s a true gem and an extremely elegant creation’. It is priced on release at £215 per case of six, it is one to snap up in droves.

 

Their Cru Barolo Prapo is a single famed vineyard from the town of Serralunga d’Alba a wine Larner calls ‘Gorgeous’ lamenting ‘Like other Barolos from Ceretto, it almost seems a shame to distract attention from this craftsmanship with flavors from a heavy meal, and so it might be better to cellar it for a decade and then celebrate it with fine cheeses or pâté’. This has been awarded 95+ points by Larner and is priced first tranche at £440 per case of six.

Ceretto Brunate is from the astonishing single vineyard in the town of la Morra; Larner declares, ‘I absolutely love this wine. It’s a cru that will impress at any wine-tasting party, or I can picture it at dinner with a deliciously rare steak au poivre.’ To which we don’t have anything to add as such a picture is conjured, other than its 96 points from Larner and the price of £440.

 

The seminal Bussia is sited in Monforte d’Alba and in 2015 marks a debut for Ceretto. Bussi is one of the largest vineyard Crus and Ceretto already lay claim to making one of the foremost illustrations, with a brilliant score of 96+ points from Larner. She says ‘Even for such a warm vintage, this wine is as fine and elegant as the other Barolos from this estate. The bouquet seduces with delicate tones of wild berry, white cherry, licorice and truffle.’ Such a wine promises rapture at £470 per case of six.

 

The 2015 wine of the vintage, Barolo Bricco Rocche represents the staggering pinnacle of 2015 in the eyes of Larner ‘The 2015 Barolo Bricco Rocche is gorgeous, and the key here is elegance…Showing all the delicate balsamic notes and dark fruit typical of the variety, this Barolo with fruit from Castiglione Falletto has just about everything that you expect from this prestigious denomination, surely even deserving a filet mignon to accompany it when you do open the bottle down the road from today.’ She has awarded it 98 points, stamping its mark. It is priced today at £725 per case of six.

 

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.

 

Today it is run by Bruno and Marcello’s children, Lisa, Roberto, Alessandro and Federico, who will now steer the Estate through the golden age of Barolo. The wines are made exclusively from the family’s own vineyard, 11 hectares located in the communes of La Morra, Serralunga and Castiglione Falleto. 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 at their Bricco Rocche winery a state of the art building, 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 Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett. For more information on wine travel please view our wine travel partner www.winerist.com.

 

Ceretto are among the leading and most highly allocated Barolos on the market, their Crus the finest and their reputation truly top tier. Barolo lovers and investors should buy their 2015 and 2016 vintages, prices in the years to come will be more Burgundian than Piemontese and these truly great vintages the gold standard. The 2016s will release in April and we expect a price rise.

 

It is hard it hard to separate the Crus and as such we can offer a special parcel of one case each of Prapo, Brunate, Bussia and Bricco Rocche for £2,025. A stunning parcel of 24 bottles!