Domenico Clerico has been a benchmark producer for me since my earliest days in wine. I have been waiting for the opportunity to offer one of his Barolos for as long as I have been at Wine Access. I say “waiting” because great Nebbiolo requires time, and I wanted to be able to give Wine Access clients a Clerico Barolo that has hit its stride in terms of expression, while still showing decades of cellaring potential. That day has arrived, and I reach out to you personally, because the tiny allocation of 240 bottles of 2010 Ciabot Mentin Barolo, offered at $80 each on six or more, could not satisfy the entire Wine Access family. Secure your share now.
Ruby core with terracotta overtones, this 2010 Ciabot Mentin opens with warm, slightly dried dark cherry, and crushed cranberry. The savory aromatics unfold over an hour’s time in a decanter to reveal classic dried rose petal, spent tea leaves, licorice, loose earth and oily tobacco. The wine feels dense at the core displaying the great concentration of the 2010 vintage, while showing expansive volume, and aromatic lift. Masculine, yet sophisticated and polished, this wine is poised for decades of aging.
This Ciabot Mentin bottling comes from a parcel within the Ginestra vineyard, a Cru of Monforte d’Alba in Barolo. Two of Domenico’s single-vineyard bottlings come from this site—the “Pajana” from grapes rooted at 1,150 feet in elevation, and this Ciabot Mentin from vines just up the slope at 1,450 feet.
I have always preferred the expansiveness of the Ciabot Mentin parcel. The vines were planted in 1981 and enjoy a south-southeastern exposure that is prized in Barolo. This bottling receives 16 months in French oak barriques, another 16 months in traditional 50-hectoliter botti, and two years in bottle.
Sadly, Domenico Clerico, one of Barolo’s pioneering greats, passed away last year. But he leaves an indelible mark on the industry. I’m not alone in casting Clerico as a leader in the modern-style of Barolo—many others agree. The technology he leveraged in the winery was implemented purely to showcase the dedication he had to his land. The soul of the Nebbiolo grape has been at the core of his Barolos since as long as I have tasted them, and securing one of the last wines he created is a task that has been several months in the making.
It’s nearly impossible to find a critic who does not share my view on the greatness of Clerico, and his 2010 Ciabot Mentin. Stephen Tanzer of Vinous rated it 95+ points, saying “it has the racy acidity and excellent clarity for a spectacular evolution in bottle.” In Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list of 2011, the 2006 Ciabot Mentin came in at #8—and I am a firm believer that the 2010 Barolo vintage was better than 2006. This is a perfectly-aged Barolo from a top vintage, and a beautiful representation of the wines of Domenico Clerico that will last for decades to come. To secure your allocation, click here.
Sur Lucero MS
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