Ciabot Berton means ‘Berton’s small building’ and is named after a ruined building that overlooks the vines of this La Morra property which is owned by the Oberto family. The Oberto name has been associated with vine-growing in this area since at least the 12th century but it is really since the late 1950s that the family bagan to bottle their own production. Now overseen by siblings Marco and Paola, respectively an oenologist and agronomist by training, the philosophy is to marry their father Luigi’s deep knowledge of the different vineyard sites, with the most relevant modern techniques and technologies that they have learned through their studies.
The aim is to produee wines that express their vineyard terroir, unique in each vintage and with the stamp of the family’s way of working. These methods are primarily the use of organic techniques in order to attain and maintain equilibrium and healthy vines in the vineyards and an emphasis on slow ripening and allowing the grapes to hang as long as possible in order to achieve phenolic ripeness, especially for Nebbiolo.
The vineyards all lie in the prestigious historical cru of La Morra: Roggeri, San Biagio, Rive, Cappallotti, Pria and Rocchettevino, on the slopes facing towards Alba.
The soil is largely composed of Marne di Sant’Agata, which belongs to the Tortoniano group. These are marls or loams, bluish-grey in colour, which have become greyish-white through the action of the weather. The composition of these mixed clays, made up of the finest sand with chalk components, is found everywhere except on the Bricco di San Biagio. The soil on this hill can be identified as stemming from the sandstone Arenarie di Diano d’Alba, which consists of deep layers of sand alternating with thin strata of clayey-sandy marl.
The vineyards are all located within La Morra, in the Roggeri, Bricco San Biagio and Rive crus’
The vineyards are exposed to the south-east and south-west, at 250-300 m above sea level and have clayey-calcareous soils. The winemaking is fairly traditional, with maceration of the must on the skins for 16-18 days at 30°C in fiberglass lined concrete vats, followed by ageing for 24-30 months in Slavonian oak casks of 25 hl capacity, a further 6 months in steel vats before bottling.
On the nose, complex aromas of clean earth, forest floor, sweet spice, cherry liqueur, nice purity. The palate is dry and a little astringent at present but there is also an almost paradoxical sense of a soft cashmere-like texture. The fruit is ripe, liqueur morello cherry, pure. There is a long mineral finish. This is a little young at present, but could be drunk with plenty of aeration. Optimal window: 2016-2022.