Size & Type
On three separate occasions, devouring verticals of the Barolo from: Giacomo Conterno, Roberto Voerzio, and, Vietti, their Barberas have shone through as some of the best wines of the night! ‘Il Cerreto’ is a stunning example of just how good the variety can be. Roberto has planted great sites to Barbera and the results shine through. Vibrant and fresh, with plush juicy red fruits, and, a supple texture. This is a cracker. If you’re drinking it young it will need loads of air and will undoubtedly drink better the next day. On first opening a lick of oak shows, with time in the glass the fruit powers through. Visit this wine in 10 years and you will go to a happy place.
First harvest: 2003
Vineyard Location: La Morra sub-zone of Barolo – The wine is sourced from a vineyard planted in the late 1990’s in front of the winery in Ceretto, La Morra.
Plant density: 8000 plants / ha
Yield per plant: 800 gr. – 1 Kg
Exposure: west – east
Variety: 100% Barbera
Harvest: mid-end of September
Bottles produced: 12000
Serving temperature: 15 ° C – 16 ° C
Fermentation is carried out in the traditional manner in small volume stainless steel vats, with an exposed cap with frequent pumping over and manual punching down of the cap. The fermentation temperature ranges from 30-32 degrees Celsius, duration around 15-20 days. The malo-lactic fermentation follows immediately.
Maturation The wine was aged for 12 months in French oak tonneaux (500L) and botte (2,500L), 30% new, and was not filtered but rather clarified with egg white in the traditional and natural manner. The wine is further aged in bottle prior to release.
Don’t get hung up the numbers, the numbers can lie! The larger format oak used makes the new oak levels equivalent to 7.5% new oak or less in barriques. The percentage of new oak is one of a dozen factors that could make the wine appear in balance or overtly oaky. It’s much more important to taste the wine, assessing it for balance and harmony.
Winter brought plenty of snow creating excellent water reserves. Combined with a mild spring the season began early with even flowering and excellent fruit set. From mid-June temperatures soared, but, fortunately, there was no hydric stress. Particular attention was required for foliage
management to avoid burning, but there were absolutely no fungal or disease risks. Harvest began early with the whites in late August to mid-September, and the wines showed superb sugars and acids, which will result in appealing wines of structure.
Barbera benefitted from the warmth in reducing total acidity and the cooler nights in August and September resulted in beautifully balanced and ripe wines. The Nebbiolo ripened perfectly albeit earlier than in recent years, and the impressive tannins and excellent balance will ensure elegant, age-worthy wines of good structure. Everything was in place for a truly great vintage, one to remember like just a few others in history!
Barbera, pronounced bar-BER-uh, was one of the great wine travesties of our time. The increasing popularity and price of Nebbiolo wines, particularly Barolo and Barbaresco, saw old plantings of Barbera in the great sites ripped out and replanted to Nebbiolo.
There have been notable exceptions, Voerzio & Vietti, being two. When charged with ordering vine material to re-plant parts of the Scarrone vineyard by his father, Luca, being a little mischievous or perhaps simply strong in his convictions, instructed the nursery to send Barbera instead of Nebbiolo. He knew the vines would look similar in their youth! As they established his father identified them as Barbera, in a rage, he contacted the nursery – “Why had they sent Barbera vines not Nebbiolo?” The nursery presented him with an order for Barbera signed by Luca!
60% of Barbera, Italy’s 3rd most planted variety resides in Piedmont. Plantings exist in Lombady and Emilia-Romagna and some southern Italian sites. The areas North and South of Monforte d’Alba, including Voerzio’s planting, producing the best Italian Barbera.
Barbera has a vibrant red colour, fresh red berry aromas and flavours, is luscious, with fresh acidity and supple tannins. As it matures it develops earth and often truffled secondary characters. It is truly a thing of beauty when left to rest in a good cellar until maturity.
🌡Temp: 16°C. We tend to drink reds an edge warm. There’s nothing wrong with chucking the bottles in the fridge for 15minutes to drop a few degrees off them. If they end up too cold they’ll warm up quickly in the glass.
🍷Decanting: All of these wines will benefit from being thrown in a decanter, particularly in their youth. If you’re using a Coravin or other wine preserver, pour enough into each glass to be able to try them over the course of several hours. These young reds will open up and be more expressive with a bit of time in the glass.
⏳Time: I love trying good wines stand alone, with food, and, often the next day. It gives them the chance to shine and ensures you don’t miss a good wine through impatience or fail to bring out it’s best by not marrying them to food.
🕯Cellaring: Voerzio’s wines are drinking beautifully now, a testament to a skilled maker, one who clearly understands the interplay between oxygen, fruit, and, tannin! The Barbera will be more fun after 3-5 years and will go 15+ years. Voerzio’s top Babera will often go 20-30 years!
🥩🍝🍕🍳Food Match: Just think Piedmontese, braises, rich tomato based ragù, truffles, beef, quail, lamb, wild boar, rabbit. Beef carpaccio with egg yolk and truffle oil! Head south and pair it with a pizza and you’ll go to a happy place. They make for excellent BBQ wines too.
The Best 2 Options for Preserving your Wine:
Where in the world does the magic happen?
Azienda Agricola Voerzio Roberto, Località Cerreto, La Morra, Province of Cuneo, Italy