by Paolo Repetto / 14 September 2016
Enrico Rivetto among the 10 top Barolo & Barbaresco producers
It is undoubtely thrilling to notice how the estate led by Enrico Rivetto is growing day by day.
Organic viticulture has taken place in the last years, but Enrico's philosophy is hard to expound in a few words. I do suggest you to visit the estate, enjoying a walk in the vineyards and the vegetable garden which I would say 'biodinamic', to be customarily. However, Enrico will make himself clear.
I am glad to give you a heads up. Stephen Brook, editor of the famous english magazine Decanter, has put Rivetto's estate among the top ten producers of Barolo and Barbaresco, along with Bartolo Mascarello, Bruno Giacosa, Elio Altare, Vajra, Giacomo Conterno, Massolino, Pellissero, Paolo Scavino, and Produttori del Barbaresco. Not bad!
Rivetto is typical of a new generation of
enthusiastic and inquisitive growers, keen to
maintain but also expand on tradition. He
generally uses large casks for his basic
Serralunga Barolo, but also a varying portion
of usually one-year-old barriques for the
single-vineyard wines and his Leon Riserva.
I’m never sure what permutation of beard,
stubble or hairstyle to expect when I see
Rivetto. But his wine production is deadly
serious and full of surprises, though he claims
that practices such as organic farming and
selective harvesting merely mirror the past.
He is a big fan of white Nascetta, which
from 2015 he is ageing in a concrete tank. He
also produces a sparkling Nebbiolo (a popular
wine in the 19th century), using the tips of the
bunches usually discarded as too high in
acidity. When fermenting his Barolo, he uses a
net to remove the seeds, allowing him a very
long cuvaison without risk of bitterness. And
this year he is ageing some Nebbiolo on the
skins in an unlined 450-litre terracotta jar.
Then it goes into demijohns. ‘It’s still a work in
progress,’ he admits. ‘The wine isn’t oxidised
but it’s awfully tannic. I’m not sure how it will
turn out. I’m not trying to be innovative,
merely returning to what was done in the past.’
So whenever I visit Enrico, I learn
Enrico Rivetto Leon Barolo Riserva 2008 @ 94/100
Enrico Rivetto Briccolina Barolo 2009 @ 93/100
Founder of Vinifera, since 2005 he works in the international business of fine wines.
In 2017 he founded Italian Wine Asset, the first Italian specialised entity for consulting on buying and selling Vineyards and Wineries.