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Average critic rating : 92.0 points
The 2003 Barolo Pajana opens with extraordinary aromatics. Sweet and long, it reveals intense layers of ripe dark cherries, chocolate, spices and menthol in a powerful, authoritative style. It is a terrific effort in this vintage, and should mature faster than the Ciabot Mentin Ginestra. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2018. ||Few producers' wines have given me as much pleasure over the years as those of Domenico Clerico. Based in Monforte, Clerico has been turning out spectacular Barolos since the mid-1980s. I find a spirituality and character in these wines that puts them in a class with few peers. The last few years have seen an evolution in Clerico's philosophy. He has gradually lengthened fermentation times and beginning with his 2005s also backed off the 100% new oak, perhaps the one criticism I have had of some wines in the past. For his 2003 Barolos Clerico shortened the fermentation time by a few days. "Given that the grapes already had a lot of tannins, it was important not to over-extract," says Clerico. "I used a high percentage of new oak for the Barolos. When we racked them, the wines aged in new oak turned out as I had hoped in that they were a little rounder than the wines aged in one-year old barrels. I am optimistic about 2003, the wines just need time for the tannins to soften. Look at what people said about the 1997s. The wines were supposed to fall apart, yet I think the best wines have held up beautifully." Clerico fans can also look forward to a very promising series of Barolos for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages. The 2006s will include a new Barolo made from purchased Serralunga fruit. Readers who want to learn more about the history of the property may want to check out my article in the Italy Report section of www.erobertparker.com. Wine Advocate.October, 2007
A Monforte estate founded in the late 1970s, the wines of Domenico Clerico have been famous almost from the start. This is Barrique Barolo’ and exceptionally well-executed to boot.
“I find a spirituality and character in these wines that puts them in a class with few peers.” Antonio Galloni
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