“Welcome to our castle Tenuta Carretta,” says lovely Gaia Manno, standing outside a 12th century castle in remarkably good repair.
With the rolling hillsides in the background, and very few houses in sight, I can almost assure you that there is likely no difference from the way that this castle looked 1100 years ago, and today.
The city of Alba is where the Langhe and Roero come together. Alba’s origins are certainly pre-Roman, probably from the Ligurian/Celtic era.
Alba was known as “the city of a hundred towers,” all built in the XIV and XV centuries. Few have survived – the best preserved are those between Piazza Risorgimento and Via Cavour. So we are lucky to have Tenuta Carretta standing so beautifully.
At 70 hectares, Tenuta Carretta is considered one of the largest of the Roero and Langhe wineries. The name Carretta derives from the word “car,” which means stone. So the winery is named for the nearby chalk bank that surfaces a few dozen meters from the entrance to the Estate.
Records confirm that an early nucleus of cultivated lands already existed at the beginning of the 12th century, later belonging to the De Braydas, the lords of Piobesi.
The De Braydas were succeeded by the Damiano family two hundred years later, lords of Priocca, who continued to buy up the surrounding plots and expand their property.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the entire property passed into the hands of the Counts Roero, whose coat of arms still stands out at the entrance to the Estate.
Revival of the Estate began in 1985, when the current owners, the Miroglio family decided to buy it and restore it to its former glory. Inspired by the beauty of the hillsides, the family immediately began producing quality wines according to respected traditions, but also with an attentive eye on progress and new market requirements.
Gaia Manno guides us into the sparkling new cellars with state of the art tanks and premium French barrels. Then we enter the tasting room and sit down for the tasting.
2015 Arneis “Cayega”
Jucy fruit, zesty acidity, fuller body great for food. 13.0 alcohol
Tenuta Carretta “Canorei” 2014
Aged in small barrels, good minerality and acidity. The soil is sandy. The wine is matured in a blend of newer and older French oak. Very fine and elegant.
2014 Podio Langhe Nebbiolo
15% Barbera is included. The wine looks more like a Barbera than a Nebbiolo with its more opaque color. Soft red fruit flavors on the nose and palate, red cherry soft candy core, smooth tannins. Some subtle black licorice. 14% alcohol.
2011 Barbera D’Asti Superiore
Very black garnet color. Aromas of tarry black fruit. Vibrant acidity, firm structured tannins. Long mineral finish. 14% alcohol and matured in small French barrels.
2011 Mora di Sassi Barbera d’Asti Superiore from NIZZA
Aromas of black fruit, very sharp and clean and focused. Velvet tannins. Some spice. Black fruit such as blackberry. Compared to the Asti more sharp and focused. Almost like a Nebbiolo in the precision and finely cut tannins.
2011 Roero Bric Paradiso Riserva
Named because the vineyard is on a plane not on the hills. Garnet color, red floral and red cherry aromas and flavors, plush texture.
At this moment Gioanni Minetti, CEO, enters the room, looking calm and handsome as is the custom of many Italian gentlemen . He begins his part of the tutored tasting with a quote: “The man is better under pressure and so is the wine.”
With Gioanni as our guide, we continue the tasting.
2010 Barbaresco – Cascini Bordino – still very young with highly concentrated red and black fruit. Vibrant acidity and an underlying solid core. More black cherry than red. A sense of black earth.
2010 Barolo from Cannubi
The vineyard is located between Serralunga and La Morra. La Morra, Gioanni explains, gives Barolo more elegance … and Serralunga gives a Barolo with a lot of structure. The Barolo in this scenario is lighter and more feminine with a slightly lighter hue and more flowers on the nose. Instead of the more dense palate of the Barbaresco, the texture is lighter and more dynamic. Barolo also has some sinewy tannins yet the length is long.
It was great to meet Mr. Gioanni Minetti and have Gaia give us the tour, as well as the opportunity to explore this lovely castle that also has a hotel and restaurant. You can find out more here: