The famous 'cube' at Ceretto in Castiglione Falletto makes a very visisble and useful landmark. It's not clear that anyone realized in advance just how hot it would get inside the cube, but the view from it is spectacular.

Old Ceretto

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Last Sunday we had a great dinner with a bunch of old friends at Maialino, Danny Meyer's Roman-style trattoria.  After a glass of Bereche Extra Brut Champagne, we settled down to a serious tasting of Barolos and Barbarescos from Ceretto (and serious eating too - fried baby artichokes and rice balls filled with mozzarella, garganelli with rabbit ragu, and then a roasted suckling pig!) The vintages ranged from 1978 up to 1989.  To generalize about the night we can say that the Barbarescos were softer and more easy going, while the Barolos were more powerful and authoritative.

Like many Piedmontese wineries Ceretto was a traditional producer of old fashioned Barolo and Barbaresco before they started using small oak barrels and moving to a modern style.  The Ceretto wines from 1990 and earlier are very different from what they are making today. We’ve been a fan of older Ceretto wines for a long time. In large part because Ceretto moved to producing modern-style wine, they’ve been unfashionable among the wacko circles of traditional wine lovers that we move in, but we think that the pre-1990 wines are due more respect. After years of tasting and drinking many old bottles of Ceretto, it was high time to devote an evening to the wines. It turned out to be a gratifying demonstration of their consistently high quality, of the terroir-transparent nature of the different bottlings, and of the classic nature of the old wines. The private cellars that we are occasionally permitted to dip our beak in will certainly yield more old Ceretto in the future (there are good quantities of the wines, since Ceretto is one of the largest vineyard owners in Barolo and Barbaresco), so it’s great to have confirmation that the wines really merit our attention. JBT & JW

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Ceretto - Bricco Asili 1978 Barbaresco Asili

As we explain again and again, Ceretto, now a modern-style producer, made great wine in the old days. 1978 is a big-deal vintage, the result of a hot summer and auspiciously timed rain; good ‘78s, like this one, are just beginning to hit their stride. We have 1982 Asili too — also a fine vintage, and an excellent wine.

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