Ciabot Berton: Unmissable Barolo
Great value Single vineyard Barolo Rocchettevino and Barbera d'Alba
Barolo is truly a fascinating landscape: a patchwork of vineyards each conferring their individual personality into the final wine. Like Burgundy, it’s lesson in how the grapes from one tiny strip of land can vary in quality and style from those from a parcel of vines just around the corner. The region has developed immensely since the beginning of the decade, following the official delimitation of these 170 separate vineyard sites, now known as the Menzioni Geografiche Aggiuntive (a very awkward expression the Barolo producers have come up with to translate the French word ‘cru’). It is from one these, MGAs, that one of Barolo’s great unknown bargains comes from.
Ciabot Berton is owned by brother and sister team of Marco and Paola Oberto. The winery and vineyards, are in La Morra, where Barolo’s softest and most aromatically perfumed wines come from. They produce a number of single-vineyard wines, but it is the Rocchettevino which is the star of the range. Marco and Paola have a light touch: for the wines from this site they use no French oak, preferring the neutrality of large Slavonian oak casks, allowing the grape to express its origin to the full.
The resulting wine is fresh, fragrant, instantly appealing, but also has some guts. This vintage, 2012, is a Pinot vintage. Although I also like the more structured quality of the 2013s, I love the quality and freshness of the fruit in the ‘12s, and they will continue to improve. For those that follow the press, this 2012 Rocchettevino won the prestigious ‘Platinum – Best in Show’ in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017, beating some pretty stiff competition.
We have also secured their 2016 Barbera d’Alba Fisetta, which is also from vineyards in La Morra, aged purely in stainless steel it expresses the freshness and forest fruits characteristics of this fantastic variety.
Richard Ballantyne MW