Ceretto Barbaresco Bricco Asili 1989

I am trying to learn about Piedmont wines. Picked this up a few months ago and its been standing up.

Thinking about trying tonight.

Would you decant or pop 'n pour or other ?



Agreed. I had an '89 Barbaresco recently that was excellent on PnP and fell off a bit after a couple of hours.

I’d decant to get rid of sediment and drink over a nice dinner. Should be fine

I have had this wine in the recent past. Would double decant and give it time. I’ve never seen a Barolo or Barbaresco that wasn’t better after 6-8h of slow ox and a double decantation and this one was no exception

Agree. It’s pretty unusual to find an aged Barbaresco or Barolo that doesn’t need some air. The biggest mistake with these wines is to pop and pour them and drink them before they’ve had a chance to wake up. I can’t remember the last time I had one that faded. If you have one that you think is fading, set it aside for an hour or two, as it likely just needs more time.

If the acidity is well ahead of the fruit, is that a sign that it was not given enough air? That’s how a 1997 Ceretto tasted to me, though I don’t know if the wine was on the decline or not. Somm prepared it.

Justin, I’d say the wine just wasn’t ready, ie too young…decanting can’t make a wine mature, it just gives you a glimpse of what it could be at maturity.

Thanks. The fruit was very mild almost like drinking strawberry juice, which made me think the fruit has perhaps faded, but I know sometimes fruit can seem more prominent with air. Tannins were almost gone.

Nebbiolo is an odd beast. It likes to sleep. A vintage like 1997, if pristine bottle bought on release, shouldn’t be anything but in a shut down phase. Otherwise what you describe could be heat damage.

The bottle was purchased from a local wine store so I don’t know it’s provenance but it tasted pretty nice, other then the acid being well ahead of the fruit. The nose was delightful but not completely open.

+1 to what John and Noah said about decanting, particularly for an '89. The '89s were built for the very long haul and have been slow to come around.

Also, nebbiolo tends to throw very fine, very bitter sediment, so most people will tell you to stand the bottle upright for a week or so. Then decant it very carefully so you don’t get the sediment in the wine. It’s nothing like cabernet or pinot or syrah when it comes to sediment. Beware!

What was the wine?

That just sounds like nebbiolo!

That true, with this wine, the fruit was just very faint, so at the time I thought the wine was just on the decline, as if all that remained was the acidity.

The only Nebbiolos I’ve had that were wanting for acidity (in terms of balance) were some of the '11 Barolos. Chalk it up to the vintage.

Anyway, this darned grape constitutes ~30% of my small cellar. I love it, but still learning all its quirks.

Some would call it “quirky”. I think “brutally and unrelentingly fickle” is probably closer to the truth. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback.

I didn’t end up opening it… want to give it proper prep. still standing up. Maybe next weekend.


I actually opened one of these a week ago and it showed incredibly well. Double decanted at 12pm and slow-O’d until dinner which was at 6:30pm. I’ve found in general that 89’s need a lot of air - just my 2c.

Ceretto was a lower tier producer in the ‘80s and the 1989 Asili was never a blockbuster. It was PnP 5 years ago and is not a wine for long term aging.

Do you mean in Barbaresco or in general? There are some people who think they were strong in the 80s before they went down the barrique path.