Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 1997
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
The most representative wine of the estate, Clerico's Barolo "Ciabot Mentin Ginestra" comes from vines planted at 400 meters with south to southeast exposure, giving the wine its characteristic explosive aromas of ripe red fruit, liquorice and mint.
Wine Spectator - "Dark ruby, with a garnet edge. Violet, toasty oak, blackberry and plum. Full-bodied, with amazing fruit and super-ripe tannins. It's velvety and powerful. Still needs a lot of time. Spellbinding. Huge."
The Wine Advocate - "The 1997 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra is a fearsomely powerful, tannic, ultra-concentrated, explosively rich wine with a mid-palate in which one could get lost. A saturated ruby/purple color is accompanied by scents of lead pencil, cedar, black fruits, smoke, earth, and vanilla. Massive richness, monster extract, sweet tannin, and a blockbuster finish characterize this dazzling, 20-30 year wine. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2025."
International Wine Cellar - "Full, saturated red-ruby. Sappy, high-pitched aromas of cherry, nuts and oak spices. Superconcentrated, spicy and sweet, but nearly as backward as a top '96, with superb extract and powerful underlying structure. Finishes with substantial mouthdusting tannins and a late note of dark chocolate.
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Domenico Clerico Winery
Clerico is one of the most respected names in all Barolo, and his wines are renowned for both winemaking of the highest quality and for exceptional character, deriving from outstanding vineyard holdings in four of the greatest crus of Monforte: Ginestra, Bussia, Pajana and Mosconi. The Barbera d'Alba and Dolcetto d'Alba from this estate are an easy and affordable way to enjoy the genius of this winemaker, and represent two of the greatest wines made from those varietals. Clerico's single-cru Barbera d'Alba "Trevigne" is matured briefly in barriques, 40% of which are new. His Dolcetto "Visadi" regularly receives 90 points from the major international publications. Barrique-aged Nebbiolo/Barbera blend "Arte" was the original "super-Piedmont" wine; Marc de Grazia and Clerico devised this blend together in 1983.
Farming Practices: No systemic plant protection products (products which act by systemic transport – through the sap of the plant) are used. Sulfur- and copper-based products are the most prevalent. No herbicides are used (the soil is tilled). When needed, only organic fertilizer (manure) is used. There is little use of fertilizers in order to keep the grape production per vine low. Very careful use of SO2 in the wines. View all Domenico Clerico Wines
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.