Rivetto is typical of a new generation of enthusiastic and inquisitive growers, keen to maintain but also expand on tradition...

Producer profile: Enrico Rivetto

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 something new.

Wines to try from Enrico Rivetto

Enrico Rivetto, Leon, Barolo Riserva 2008

Very ripe cherry nose, elegant and refined. Rich, creamy and full-bodied, this is highly concentrated but also polished, and fine acidity gives finesse. No hard edges here, just elegant balance and superb length. A lesson in blending power and finesse. (94/100pts)

Buy: N/A UK/US – 50 Vinifera Wine Merchant (IT)

Drink 2017-2035
Alc 14.5%

Enrico Rivetto, Briccolina, Barolo 2009

Subdued raspberry and redcurrant nose, now displaying some smoky tones. Lush and very concentrated, backed by firm acidity and very ripe tannins. This has explosive fruit, with energy and drive. Imposing and long without being heavy handed. (93/100pts)

Buy: N/A UK/US – 50 Vinifera Wine Merchant (IT)

Drink 2018-2040
Alc 14.5%