The "Critics" Just Aren't Very Good: 1998 vs. 2000 Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra

Calling suckling a critic is being exceedingly generous. The WS call on the 2000 vintage was embarrassingly bad.

I love the clerico 98’s, although there is plenty of oak and Percritina is
unfortunately anoak bomb. (I think overt
oak is why Gilmans scores are so low).

I found the 99’s I’ve had too oaky for me but I’m hoping for eventual integration. I gave up buying the clericos after 2001 because of the oak, but I’ve also heard that soon after that they began to back off somewhat.

The lesson could be to buy more '04s, (maybe) '06s , '08s and '10s. I dislike the 2000s and 2007 and '09 are also very ripe vintages.
As far as I am concerned, the cooler (but fully ripe) years are make for much better Barolos and Barberescos.

It was interesting to see WS downgrade the 2000 vintage…

Also sprach Boykin: Ein Barolo fur Alle und Keinen! May that be the last word on the 2000 Giacosa Riservas!

When was that? After Suckling left?

I first noticed it last year sometime, around June I believe. I was checking in on some Italian wines and noticed WS had downgraded the vintage to a 94 or something around there.

Still laughable, but better than 100.

Genau das,immerlicht!
Man ist was man trinkt,und:

O man, take care!
What does the deep midnight declare?
“I was asleep—
From a deep dream I woke and swear:—
The world is deep,
Deeper than day had been aware.
Deep is its woe—
Joy—deeper yet than agony:
Woe implores: Go!
But all joy wants eternity—
Wants deep, wants deep eternity.”

I agree with John Morris’s remarks, but I would add that the best '05s are excellent. If producers picked before the rain in early October the wines are very classic fresh ageworthy Nebbiolo.

I hosted a small Italian wine tasting last night - after we were done with the “main event” (a selection of wines from Roberto Rogness’ store), we opened a few other wines, including Conterno’s '98 & 2000 Barolo Cascina Francia. While the 2000 is a nicely-made wine and already quite accessible, it gets torched side-by-side with the '98, which comes across as much younger, more classic in it’s taste profile with vibrant acidity - in short, clearly superior.

Of course,that 98 CF is so plentiful it has become your House Red,yes? :wink:

I’ve had some lovely 98s, (Altare Brunate being a standout) and I think they show more depth and structure than 2000s, which can be lovely in the right hands. I’ve had 2000 Monprivato and thought it super.

Time will tell, but I like 2000 more than 98 simply because I like fresher more red fruited styles of wines, but I do think 98 will have more longevity and complexity (sweeping generalisations aside). 96, 99, 01 and the other usual suspects will be far greater than the sum of 97,98, 00 put together IMO.


You find 2000 ‘fresher’ than '98?


…as in acidity. Obviously the 98s are more youthful.

2000 was a notably warmer vintage, but you find them higher in acidity than the '98s?

From those that I have tasted, yes.
But acid is a funny thing. If the tannins are really high or the fruit really dominates, then it can feel less acidic. Given the dark balance of 98s, they feel as if the acidity is higher in 2000. Of course, I haven’t seen any technical data, so that is how I saw them.

Got to taste Bob Hughes’ '98 and '00 Conternos and he is right on the money. Also opened a '98 Clerico Mentin Ginestra at a dinner a few months ago and it was terrific. Some '98s are still a bit hard in my view but the depth makes the vintage for me. Suspect though that there are great baroli in every vintage '96-'01 and this is more about nuance, preference and luck than large systemic differences, though what’s a wine board for…

I love some of the 98’s (the Giacomo Conterno’s and the clericos come to mind). Not all of them are wonderful and there is some variability between producers, but what set’s the good ones apart in my mind is the gorgeous aromatics.

Maybe he’s using (misusing) the word fresh to mean fruit-driven and soft in structure…as in “fresh fruit flavors”.