I am not sure, in fact, whose parcels of Cerretta I walked through. As indeed I walked around for awhile, and there are several growers with parcels here.
Giacomo Conterno controls two seperate parcels in Cerretta, one a bit higher on the slope than the other. In all likelihood what is in the above picture is neither Conterno parcel, although the pictures do give an idea of the place in general, which is quite beautiful.
If you might like to see some pictures of the Cascina Francia vineyard, which is of course the vineyard with which Giacomo Conterno is most closely associated, you can check out the pictures of Cascina Francia that I took last year.
Everything we tasted during our stay, all 8 wines, are still in wood and ageing. We did not try any bottled wines during the visit.
Roberto led us on a tasting of pairs. We started with 2010 Cerretta Barbera and 2010 Cascina Francia Barbera. And then there was 2009 Cerretta Nebbiolo and 2009 Cascina Francia Nebbiolo. After which we proceeded to the 2010 Cerretta Nebbiolo and 2010 Cascina Francia Nebbiolo. The 2010 Nebbiolos, still early in their evolution, had not been racked yet.
We got a chance to try the 2005 Monfortino, which had just been racked, and what a very lovely 05ish nose it displayed. Darker in fruit on the palate than many 2005 Barolos I have had, there was that typical 2005 chalkiness under the fruit that I refer to in my own notes as gesso paste. Perhaps this is appropriate for the classic Italian palate, to have a fresco base.
A bit more time looking around the cellar.
And then we walked over to the fermenting area.
Both the Barberas and the Nebbiolos are fermented in wood.
And these Stockinger fermenting vessels are pretty ingenious, because as you can see from the picture, they have removable tops. So the wine can be fermented open top and with oxygen exposure, or closed top and without. The fermenters are also kept off the ground, so that they can be easily picked up and moved if need be.
Roberto said that in some years he submerges the cap of the fermenting must, and that in some years he pumps over. It depends on what the vintage gives.
It has become clear over the course of the visit that Roberto is extremely concerned with the small details of each harvest and the wines that result. He is clearly trying to honor his family's legacy with wines worthy of their reputation.
The youngest vintage at Giacomo Conterno may also do the same one day.
Meanwhile, from the tasting room, Giovanni looks on.