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Below is the June, 2006 Featured Wine for the Wines by Jennifer Cellar Club:

2001 Renato Ratti

Barolo Marcenasco

La Morra, Piemonte, Italy

2001 Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo

Located halfway up the hill overlooking the valley of Barolo, along the steep slopes of orderly vineyards, lies the Abbey of the Annunziata, a priceless jewel of the 15th Century. Just as the friars of centuries past produced wines from the grapes grown below their abbey, wines of incomparable quality are produced there today.

In 1965 Renato Ratti bought his first vineyard, located right below the Abbey of the Annunziata, a small plot in the historical zone of Marcenasco. The respectful yet innovative winemaking philosophy of Renato Ratti lives on today, thanks to the passion and commitment of his son Pietro Ratti and nephew Massimo Martinelli.

Barolo Marcenasco is smooth, balanced, elegant and faithfully reflects the typical characteristics of the La Morra sub zone. The color is an intense garnet red, with a bouquet with traces of licorice and tobacco. It is full-flavored, full-bodied and elegant. 91 Points, The Wine Spectator. This wine has the capability to be cellared for 25-30 years in the proper cellar. Match with hearty foods such as game, lamb, grilled steaks, stews and hard cheeses.

Wine Map of Italy


Piemonte (Piedmont in English) is the largest wine region in the country producing, along with Tuscany, the majority of the fine wines of Italy. Piemonte is often called the "Burgundy of Italy", as it is most famous for its boutique wines and outstanding gastronomy (Piemonte is home to the famous white truffle).

Winemaking in Piemonte is amazingly artisan and boutique. Production is microscopic, especially for the top wines, and most wineries are family owned. Vineyards tend to be very small and neatly kept. Entire villages are dedicated to wine production and wine is a part of daily life.

The superstar wines from the region are the DOCG Barolo and Barbaresco Cru wines, both tremendously rich red wines made with the native Nebbiolo grape. Barolo is produced exclusively from Nebbiolo grapes grown south of Torino in the municipal territories of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga díAlba and partly in the municipal territories of La Morra, Monforte díAlba, Novello, Verduno, Grinzane Cavour, Diano díAlba, Roddi, and Cherasco.

Nowadays the Nebbiolo vine is grown in few privileged areas accounting for only 3% of Piedmontís wine output. The vine thrives in a poor soil made of calcareous marls and in a peculiar microclimate: these elements, both present in the area where Barolo and Barbaresco wines are produced, give longevity to the wine, as well as harmonious taste and deep bouquet.

For a wine to be called "Barolo", it must be aged for no less than three years, two of which must be in oak barrels. Before being released for marketing, Barolo must get through a tasting test carried out by a special commission appointed by Ministry of Agriculture. Getting through the test allows a wine to be labeled DOCG, the highest Italian designation.

Barolo lovers take note - 2001 is the vintage you have been waiting for. 2001 will go down as one of the finest vintages of the last two decades as the wines offer great depth of fruit, lively acidity and beautiful structure for aging.



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