2016 Domenico Clerico (750ml)

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy

B-21 Top Recommendation
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Touring Piedmont late last year, I tasted through the top producers' finished wines from the much heralded 2016 vintage, basic Barolo through top Crus. Stunning wines greeted me at one address after another, many reminding me of legendary bottlings from 1989 or '90. Clerico's dazzling offers as usual punctuated my trip, a very definite exclamation point and among the finest set of wines of this tremendous vintage. Domenico grew up in these hills, and when he entered the wine business he began assembling small parcels of the most prestigious vineyards in Monforte d'Alba. Ciabot Mentin and Pajana in Ginestre soon followed – then the prized Serralunga – each showing Nebbiolo in a different shade of dark beauty. Most vines were planted in the '50s and '70s, old vines abound here. Because of these very old vines, Clerico tops the charts even in difficult harvests; hand this estate a vintage as perfect as 2016 and you're in for skyscraper-like quality. Again in this vintage Ciabot Mentin tops my chart. And the sexy spice and depth of spine-tingling complexity is on full display in Pajana and the best Aeroplan Servaj yet. A line up that represents the life and work of Domenico Clerico.


Plums, cured meat and white truffles. Pretty aromas. Full-bodied with chewy, ripe tannins and a long, flavorful finish. It’s very structured with lots of ripe tannins and ripe fruit that envelop the phenolics. Solid and real. Give it time to soften and come together. Try after 2023.

95 points, James Suckling (Aug 2020)

The classic 2016 Barolo by Domenico Clerico is a generous and full wine that offers a panoramic view of the Nebbiolo grape all in bright Technicolor and with the appropriate intensity. The wine's all-encompassing approach brings many details into focus, including wild cherry, spice, leather and ferrous soil. Fruit is exclusively from Monforte d'Alba, with some from the lower parts of Pajana and Per Cristina and some from the younger vines planted in Ciabot Mentin. This is an elegant expression with the mild oak signature that is an important part of the Clerico playlist. Camphor ash and burnt embers lift lightly as the wine opens in the glass. It ages in barrique for eight months, followed by another year in larger oak casks. Some 20,000 bottles were released.

94+ points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Jul 2020)

This red is fresh, elegant and underscored by a solid tannic structure. A bit compact midpalate, compressing the black cherry, blackberry, iron, tobacco and spice flavors. Sleek and long, with terrific balance. Best from 2023 through 2050. 1,800 cases made, 400 cases imported.

93 points, Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Apr 2020)

Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%

60+ bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.

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