The Barolo Cerretta is a fascinating, powerful wine: hand-harvested from 60-year-old parcels on a southeast facing hillside of fine clay and limestone; the grapes macerated on the skins for forty days during and after fermentation, after which the wine was matured in neutral 700 liter oak barrels for two years, and in bottle for an additional fifteen months before its release.
In the glass, the limpid ruby-garnet Nebbiolo color warms to bright mahogany at the edge. Aromas of sun-warmed ripe amarena cherries, crushed violets, and fresh sweet tobacco move in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with fleeting suggestions of dried pine needles, roasted porcini mushrooms, incense, and sottobosco as the nose evolves over time.
On the palate, the wine is ripe and muscular, with laser-cut black fruit flavors and spices that echo the nose, all punctuated by a lingering, firm, yet beautifully silky finish, marked with a cooling note of wild spearmint and eucalyptus.
About this wine producer: Since 1856, the Germanos have farmed vineyards in Cerretta, one of Serralunga d’Alba’s most prestigious Crus. Francesco Germano, Sergio’s great grandfather, and his grandfather, Alberto, sold the grapes to friends and neighbors. His father, Ettore, for whom the estate is named, was the first to sell wine in bottles. But Sergio was the first to bottle the entire production of the estate, beginning in 1993. He is the perfect example of a modern, scientifically trained winegrower who is grounded in the traditions of his region. His goal, he says, is to express in his wines the character of each vineyard, of each grape variety, and of each vintage, as well as the “connection between Sergio Germano and Serralunga d’Alba.”