2008 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin

Galloni didn’t much like this wine (comparatively) but Tanzer loved it. Rare Wine has what appears to be a very good price on it, perhaps because AG was not all that enthused. Does anyone have a more recent opinion on it?

Just doing some reading on this wine as well. Anyone have comments on it? Tanzer 96, AG 92. I don’t normally “follow” points, but just interested in what everyone feels is the reason for the rather large descrepancy

Steve always likes Clerico, but I quit buying after 2004 becasue of too much oak. I haven’t had the 2008, and, who knows, perhaps they’ve cut back some.

2008 Clerico Ginestra from Wine Searcher:

Stephen Tanzer 96/100
James Suckling 93/100
CellarTracker 92/100 (18 notes from 17 users )
Vinous Antonio Galloni 92/100 2014 to 2022
Wine Spectator 92/100
Falstaff Magazin 90/100
Jancis Robinson 17.5/20 2017 to 2028

That looks like a reasonably good range of scores as no one seems to find the wine flawed. I wouldn’t think there would be too much downside in owning this wine if you have liked it in any previous vintages. It’s $5 a bottle less at Flickinger and they say they have 57 in inventory.


Looks like 57 unsold arriving in about 2 months - not in stock yet.


I tried the '08 and '07 Clerico line-up when Luciano Racca was in town about a year or so ago and liked this wine quite a bit.

That said, I usually don’t do points, but for me a 96 is one hell of a wine and I think Antonio’s score is one I’m more comfortable with. And not to give the original OP a hard time, but since when did a 92 point score on a wine imply that the reviewer didn’t like the wine that much?

It’s a fine rendition of this wine. The brightness of the vintage offers appealing contrast to the typically dark style of Clerico. It offers solid value at $60.

Kind of funny though that Tanzer has the reputation as a traditionalist.

When it is laced with faint praise:

I found the 2008 Clerico range lacking as well. Hard to pinpoint exactly where they went off the rails, but they were just. . . flat.

I don’t know what they used to do, but the '08s were still aged in quite a bit of new barrique and strongly taste like it. I find it to be a flaw in what would otherwise be a well-made, modern styled Barolo, but there are people whose opinions I trust who really like these wines.

I used to think that too, but watching his Bordeaux ratings, I think he has a soft spot for riper wines with some new oak aging. Off the top of my head, more modern wines like Barde-Haut, Malescot St. Exupery, Monbousquet, and Smith Haut Lafitte always score(d) highly by Steve’s standards. He still rates traditional producers highly too, but usually ones with a higher pedigree.

I think Steve is actually pretty oak tolerant. Look at his reviews for Clerico Percristina, which is a pretty oaky wine. and the Burgs that get fairly high ratings (Laurent wines, le Moine, etc.) there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you understand his palate. He tends not to comment very often upon oak influence in wines, which is something that I would prefer were not the case. but since he’s like only to be writing reviews for another couple of years, this will become academic.

I did a dinner with Domenico several months ago. We tasted the 2008 Briccotto Barolo and it has a similar barrel treatment to the CM. And it had no real amounts of oak.

Yes–I remember the thread, and I was surprised. Have you followed the estate for quite a while? Has there been a significant decrease in oak influence in the last several vintages?

John, 2004 was the last huge-oak vintage, with roll-back every vintage afterward…

Hmm. Looks like timing is everything…

Quite some time ago I was involved with the wines. Domenico split from De Grazia. And with the prices being on the high side the wines fell out of my market. I am not sure that he has been in the market for 15 years. But it was good to see him and taste the wine. I only gently probed around the idea of oak etc. I will do a visit with him in the spring. The prices on the wines are better. They certainly would not be mistaken for anything coming from a traditionalist. But they are not longer the poster child for the modern.

FWIW, Galloni went nuts for the 07’s, both the Pajana and the Ginestra, so it can’t be that he has an issue with the style as such.

Depending on what vintage Steve hasn’t reviewed Bordeaux in awhile. But as John says, he likes the more modern Burgundy producers also. Fine with me but I’m commenting on the common perception of his reviews.

Drank the 2005 tonight, super ripe wine but balanced. Oak is integrated but lots of tannins still present. I would wait 3-5 years for another 05 which in my opinion is lesser vintage than the 2008. Tanzer rated this vintage 95 and Galloni (WA) 96 and Spectator gave it a 95.