Domenico Clerico Barolo Percristina 2010
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This shows ethereal quality with dark fruit, dried flowers, tar, wet earth and fresh mushrooms and then cedar wood. The palate is full-bodied, yet the quality of the intense tannins are so polished and very, very long. Superb. Goes on and on and on. Crystal clear. Held in bottle at the winery until now. Try after 2024, but just a joy to taste as a young wine. Only 2,000 bottles made.
Here's a very special treat. The Domenico Clerico 2010 Barolo Per Cristina has the magic touch. With the benefit of 10 years since the harvest (with 18 months in barrique, three years in botte and five years in bottle), it offers a unique tasting experience that takes you down the proverbial rabbit hole of Nebbiolo nuances, with shifting flavors and intensity. I did not find this wine to be at all mature or oxidized, indeed I admire the brightness and freshness of its primary aromas that are very much intact and appear younger than their real age. You get dark cherry, fig, spice, tar and earth. The tannins are tucked into the silky fiber of the wine, and although you can sense that some of that power comes from the aging, the oak tannins are elegantly integrated. Per Cristina is located in the Mosconi cru with vines planted in 1968 at 240 to 280 meters above sea level. It is the estate's oldest vineyard, and the vines are known to produce small berries and concentrated fruit flavors.
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.
The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo wine region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo wine, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.
There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.
On the eastern side of the Barolo wine region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soil types.
The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.