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Domenico Clerico Barolo 2012

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • RP93
  • RP94
  • JS92
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 100% Nebbiolo

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
Love the aromas of black truffles and dark fruits that follow through to a full body, round and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Spicy and rich. Drinkable now but better in 2018.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The fact that Domenico Clerico has re-introduced its base Barolo is great news. The 2012 Barolo is a beautifully rich and generous wine that pulls out the best of the Nebbiolo grape (sourced mostly from the Ginestra vineyard) and the opulent style of winemaking that defines Domenico Clerico. There is a good amount of oak present, but the way it is integrated is always a source of stylistic inspiration. Dark fruit and blackberry preserves segue to cinnamon, sweet smoke and grilled herb.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Cherry, licorice, tar and tobacco notes show in this firm, dense Barolo. On the savory side, with a long, dry finish. Best from 2019 through 2030.
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Domenico Clerico

Domenico Clerico

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Domenico Clerico, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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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.

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

GCWDCBO12_2012 Item# 215253