When I dream about Italian wine, (which I frequently do) I imagine lush vineyards planted along the slopes of rolling hills. The Alps are flawlessly painted in the background as they are both majestic and powerful. There are Mediterranean style small towns adorned with red tile roofs and stucco walls. In my mind, there is hustle and bustle amongst the town’s people as they go about their daily work. The air is filled with wild rose, oregano, and earthiness. Of course, while I’m imagining all of this, I’m sipping the King of Italian wines, none other than Barolo.
Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Oscar Arrivabene, wine making successor of Domenico Clerico. The Barolo winemaking legend Domenico Clerico passed away in 2017. His wines are among the most sought after in the world. He was a beloved wine maker in Barolo who was first and foremost, a man of agriculture. His hands were said to have shown a lifetime of hard work and dedication to his craft. There are no cellared wines at Domenico Clerico, as he believed in ensuring all wines were either sold or given away. The fruits of his labors is what we tasted our way through last night: The Grand Cru of Ginestra.
What I found incredibly interesting is how much of an impact terroir can have on these Barolos. A wine can be of the same vintage (ie 2014, 2013), but grown on separate vineyards, like Ciabot Mentin or Pajanà, and be very different from one eachother!
My favorite of the evening was the 2010 Ciabot Mentin (SRP $92.00). This seductive wine has surprising notes of cassis, plum skin, and brewed Early Gray tea. Blackberry, black twizzler and red fruits also steal the show.
Do you like Barolo? If you think you do, I highly recommend giving Domenico Clerico a try.
The wines we tasted were:
Barbera Trevogine 2015 SRP $26
2013 Domenico Clerico Barolo
2013 Domenico Clerico Barolo Pajana
2013 Domenico Clerico Barolo Aeroplanservaj
2013 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin
2010 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin
2006 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra
2001 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra
2006 Domenico Clerico Barolo Precristina
All of these wines offered something special that is uniquely their own. The Precristina is another interesting wine, although it’s extremely limited in quantity. There are notes of menthol, Fennel, and leather. It’s. A very different, yet intriguing wine.
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Amanda Claire Goodwin