Domenico Clerico - Monforte

Clerico is one of the original forces behind the modernist movement and I have to admit to being an admirer for years, though with some reservations. The wines produced here through the 1980s and into the mid-1990s seem to have not really evolved particularly well. It's not that they evolved poorly but rather seem to be a bit frozen and simply fading away with time rather than gaining nuance and complexity. I have to believe that this current set of releases will not undergo the same fate. As far as modernist wines go these are among the very best. Powerful, some loaded up with too much oak, but when Clerico gets everything right, which is more often than not, you do end up with a very fine, complex, and wonderful balanced bottle of Barolo.

2009 Clerico Barolo Bricotto - Monforte

The Bussia bottling was produced from 1978 through 1995. Clerico stoppedstopped production out of respect for Aldo Conterno: “Bussia is Aldo Conterno’s”.  All production went into Arte, until 2007 when Clerico had decided that he had found his way with this Cru and Aldo Conterno had found a different way. Thus Bussia has returned with the name Bricotto.

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Lovely woodsy aromas married to a dry toasted oak nose that shows light vanilla and milk chocolate notes over a base of floral, fine red fruits, red currant notes with a touch of herb spice. The oak becomes a decidedly spicy aspect here. Powerful, silky and open in the mouth with a rich core of cherry fruit touched with strawberries, and wrapped in oak tannins and wood spice, this reveals dry wood tannins on the midpalate with nice herb notes emerging on the backend followed by cut sour cherry fruit and tart strawberry notes. This is high acid and very tart red fruited for 2009 with plenty of oak showing. 90pts

2008 Clerico Barolo Pajana - Monforte

The chocolate woody nose is dark and slightly stewy with simple, sweet wood and vanilla aromas. This is a bit thick on entry, blocky with less underlying fruit, and a lot of wood tannin here, packed with tannins in fact.  Fairly compact in the mouth with small red fruits and a little tobacco that is having a tough time competing with all the wood. 87pts

2008 Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin - Monforte

Earthy on the nose with layered notes of tobacco, some licorice, fennel, and much more Nebbiolo character. The oak is well integrated, with sweet toast here and vanilla notes along with some weedy character and red berry fruit. with some weedy character. Round, opulent and powerful in the mouth with wild red fruits, some lingonberry, currant and raspberry, all showing lots of depth. This is showing sweeter tannins than the other 08s here with good clarity, and good length in a very powerful style. Rich and harmonious. 93pts

2007 Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj - Serralunga

Badarina cru

A bit stewy on the nose with dark fruit, framed by sweet medicinal notes, a bit of grilled beef, and sweet wild red fruits topped with a hint  a of prune. Smooth on entry, and fairly high acid with dry tannins this shows a touch of cooked fruit quality in a very beefy, powerful without being dense style. Turning a bit ferrous on the palate, with some small wild cherry fruits and rich wild medicinal herbs, the oak grows on the nose turning the finish a bit peppery. A fairly good expression of Serralunga, sucking up the oak fairly well. 92pts

2005 Clerico Barolo Per Cristina - Monforte

Mosconi Cru

Lots of wood on the nose, a bit chocolately, with tobacco, mint, chocolate covered cherry aromas. This is surprisingly elegant on entry with nice focus, then the midpalate shows lots of wood tannin breaking above the dark fruit, rendering the wine rather simple. There’s nice depth on the palate, and this does show fine, tense sweet and slightly bitter herb tinged fruit under all the wood, but this is ultimately slathered in oak. 87pts