The Renato Ratti’s Barolo is a great family history between territory and tradition marked by a courageous and innovative choice. The company founder, Renato Ratti, is known as the “Great innovator of Barolo”. He studied Oenology in Alba (Cuneo), then emigrates to Brazil where he is put in charge of the sparkling wine production and Cinzano’s Vermouth. When going back to Piedmont, in 1965, he bought his first vineyard in the Marcenasco area, under the ancient Abbey of L’Annunziata (Our Lady of the Annunciation), at La Morra: right here he created his first cru of Barolo Marcenasco born from a single vineyard.
Four years later, supported by his grandson, oenologist Massimo Martinelli, there’s the first innovation in the wine-making, maturation and aging process of Barolo: they shorten the fermentation and maceration times and also reduce the oak barrel aging to two years. Then wine continue by a long aging in bottle: that’s essential for evolution of Barolo wine.
In the 80s Renato Ratti was also president of the Barolo Consortium and wrote a lot of books about Piedmont wines. He was not only a winemaker and a producer, but also was a writer, historian and wine communicator. When he died, in 1988, his son Pietro, fresh graduated from Alba’s Enology School, takes charge of the company. The main objective of the young Pietro is to continue the work of Barolo’s innovation initiated by his father, maximizing the unique skills of different Barolo sub-areas.
Renato Ratti’s thinking about innovation is easily understandable by this phrase:
“The three concepts of the new Barolo style are: the pedigree of origin of a determined sub-zone and its delimitation, the classification of the characteristics pertaining to the different vintages and the process of bottle refinement to both propitiate and maintain distinction, smoothness, elegance and longevity in final wine”.
Well! It’s right that now Pietro Ratti continues his work in the world of wine, following perfectly his father’s path.
Wine Tasting. Among many different and excellent Cru of Renato Ratti’s Barolo DOCG, I tasted with joy and emotion the “Rocche dell’Annunziata” 2012 vintage which dressed a beautiful garnet red color. About this wine I loved explosive and crisp bouquet, well-blended, fresh rose flower, fruity of more, licorice, mint, juniper, all characterized by a great balsamic sense that accompanies well the sip: taste is definately long, fine, soft, austere but not rough, fine tannins, indeed enveloping: then the balmy wake comes back. It is definitely ultimately an intense and full flavour Barolo. It’s a young wine but you can drink it with satisfaction even in 20-30 years.
Some technical data: from Nebbiolo grapes harvested in the sub-area Rocche dell’Annunziata (La Morra). First vintage production: 1971. Vinification: fermentation at controlled temperature of 30 ° C, then 7 days of maceration, malolactic fermentation in wood. Aging: first year in French oak barriques and second year in 25 hectolitre Slavonian oak barrels. Another two-year stay in the bottle to give more softness and elegance to wine.
Retail price: € 70 – $ 82 – My rating: 95/100