This family-run business was founded by Riccardo Ceretto in 1937, principally as a négociant in Alba. He was joined by his sons Bruno and Marcello in the 1960s. Wanting to make and sell their own wines, they began to buy premium land in Barolo and Barbaresco and were among the very first in the region to see the potential of single-vineyard wines. Bruno’s children, Federico and Roberta, and Marcello’s, Alessandro and Lisa, joined in the 1990s. After a period of change and experimentation, a particular style emerged in 2010, utilising shorter skin contact, and a mix of barrique and small botte for a supple but precise expression of Nebbiolo. The family are also involved in various artistic and heritage projects, including the rejuvenation of the famous Piedmontese hazelnuts and two restaurants in Alba: La Piola and the three-star Michelin Piazza Duomo.
In recent years, Ceretto’s winemaking style has been more relaxed, and it is interesting to see how this plays in a vintage like 2019. The 2018 wines were undeniably very successful, with the heady fruit of the year brilliantly captured and expressed. In 2019, that immediacy is more muted, but where Ceretto’s house style does succeed is in working finesse into the tannins. Many producers reported that their 2019s were slow to evolve once in barrel or bottle, and it was only towards the end of their time in wood that the quality of the vintage began to shine. That is not the case here. The purity and linear expression of the vintage has been in place for Ceretto’s wines right from the start. These are more intellectual wines than the 2018s, and their qualities are self-evident.