I opened a bottle of Ceretto Barolo Bricco Rocche Brunate 1993 for dinner on New Year’s Eve, the last of that vintage in my cellar. When the Ceretto brothers made that wine, few were talking about high alcohol, excessive ripeness or natural wines, the current contentiousness of the wine world. Then, the issue in Italy was traditional wines vs. modern wines.
Back then, I was traveling to Piedmont regularly for Wine Spectator to taste the next vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco. I remember this wine from barrel. Ceretto used modern methods in the vineyards and winery to achieve even ripeness and shorter fermentation times to emphasize fruit character, but avoided the use of small, new oak barrels. Unlike some modernists, Ceretto at that time seemed unconcerned with the biting, crisp tannins that the Nebbiolo grape could produce. As a result, the Ceretto style at the time always struck me as having a foot in both camps.
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