One of the renegade band of winemakers known as the “Barolo Boys,” Domenico Clerico started his career as a progressive winemaker, breaking from traditional Barolo protocol to make terroir-driven, long aging yet approachable Barolo wines. Robert Parker Wine Advocate reviews this wine as…”the 2007 Barolo Ciabot Mentin is one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted. Deep, sensual layers of fruit flow from the glass as this full-throttle, intense Barolo reveals its profound, breathtaking personality”. It needed an hour of decanting to open up.
Situated in Monforte d’Alba, right in the heart of Barolo, the small Domenico Clerico estate possesses holdings in some of the region’s most esteemed crus, including Ginestra, Pajanà, and Mosconi. When Domenico took control of his father’s eleven-acre estate in 1976 (since expanded as Clerico bought new vineyards), the estate didn’t make wine; it only grew the grapes, selling to the local consorzio or at the farmer’s market. Domenico had the vision to estate-bottle his own wines, and the wine world has never been the same.
Pairing Homemade fettuccine made with lamb in ragu sauce (and some red wine). Paired perfectly with Domenico Mentin Barolo wine from Piedmonte, Italy.
Though often positioned in Piemonte’s modernist school, Domenico’s style moved more toward traditional winemaking in the latter half of his career. Like many modernists, Clerico started with traditional Slavonian oak casks, but by 1990, he was aging all of his wines in barriques. As much as Clerico’s use of barriques might place him soundly in the modernist camp, his deep Langhe roots make this classification complicated. At the core of Clerico’s winemaking philosophy sits his belief that the quality of the vines is the sole factor determining a wine’s potential. Clerico always regarded production techniques as mere tools of the trade, and appropriately enough, he championed the virtues of terroir by focusing on single-vineyard bottlings.
There’s no better testament to Domenico Clerico’s commitment to viticulture than the sign on his cellar door:”Domenico Clerico, Viticoltore,” or Domenico Clerico, Vine-grower. This sign as much a testament to Domenico’s ancestry as it is to his humility, and it serves as a touchstone for the beauty of the wines that bear the Domenico Clerico name. These days, the Clerico estate is helmed by his wife, Giuliana, and his protégé, Oscar Arrivabene, a talented, trained enologist. Together, Giuliana and Oscar ensure the legacy of Domenico’s vision, heritage, modesty, and painstaking winemaking.