An impressive entry barolo from Ceretto

The vineyard Zonchetta on the border of the communes La Morra and Barolo is called Zonchera in old Piemontese language and that is what Ceretto puts on one of its bold labels. I am pretty sure that Ceretto still buys this fruit from producers in this interesting vineyard that is situated a bit down in the valley with east-north-east exposition between the great unofficial grand crus; Brunate and Cerrequio. It has more than 50% of calcareous clay, lower level of sand and no sandstone that has the potential of producing elegant, comparably less tannic wines with finesse.

Grapes undergoes maceration for a long time for a modernist, so this should extract more aromas from the terroir. Fermentation inclusive malo is carried out in steel. When malo is finished, the wine is moved into barriques of which 50% are new for 12 months and then the wine is put into neutral big barrels for another 12 months. I am pretty sure this is a change from keeping it in barriques for more than 24 months in previous years and even during malo at times, before 2005.

2007 Ceretto Barolo Zonchera

Colour: Dark ruby red, white edges.
Nose: Solvent, oil paint, tar, grass, truffle, balsamic-fresh minerals, autumn leaves. After an hour of airing, lovely violets and fragrant roses emerges from the glass. An elegant and terroir-complex nose.
Taste: Deep, ripe and caressing fruit; boysenberries, plum and cherries. A little on the sweet side. Tar, worn leather, anise, orange-peel, distinct dry licorice, some toffee and very fine tuned balsamic minerals. The wine is very approachable, round, texture is really fine sandy almost silky already and tannins are soft and of good quality. The structure is almost full-bodied and the tannins and the very fresh balsamic acidity converge beautifully in the persistent finish.

We have tasted other earlier vintages from Ceretto and had some issues with overuse of oak, but here Alessandro and Federico Ceretto’s team have obviously been cutting down on the time new oak is in contact with the juice and clearly show that they really got it right this vintage. We really enjoy its transparency for terroir, its richness, complexity and unexpected level of elegance at this price level. Open now-2020. Costs about €35.


0 thoughts on “An impressive entry barolo from Ceretto

  1. Sir Galahad

    Yes, Zonchera is certainly very price-worthy with great transparency. Is the ’82 from before they started using more new oak?

    I had a 2004 bricco rocche a few years ago and I remember that it was round and polished, but unfortunately it was oaky and the so important natural tannins in nebbiolo very covered by oak tannins..
    Then I read that they used 100% new oak in that wine..

    However, I think they have cut down on new oak in later years and the 2007 Zonchera is a good example which I think is to their advantage really, since they are doing so much else really well in these fantastic vineyards of theirs.


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