Localization: Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy
Tasting Notes: The 1997 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra is a fearsomely powerful, tannic, ultra-concentrated, explosively rich wine with a mid-palate in which one could get lost. A saturated ruby/purple color is accompanied by scents of lead pencil, cedar, black fruits, smoke, earth, and vanilla. Massive richness, monster extract, sweet tannin, and a blockbuster finish characterize this dazzling, 20-30 year wine.
98 points Wine Spectator: Dark ruby, with a garnet edge. Violet, toasty oak, blackberry, and plum. Full-bodied, with amazing fruit and super-ripe tannins. It's velvety and powerful. Still needs a lot of time. Spellbinding. Huge.
The Domain: Clerico is one of the most respected names in all Barolo, and his wines are renowned for both winemaking of the highest quality and for exceptional character, deriving from outstanding vineyard holdings in four of the greatest crus of Monforte: Ginestra, Bussia, Pajana, and Mosconi. The Barbera d'Alba and Dolcetto d'Alba from this estate are an easy and affordable way to enjoy the genius of this winemaker and represent two of the greatest wines made from those varietals. Clerico's single-cru Barbera d'Alba "Trevigne" is matured briefly in barriques, 40% of which are new. His Dolcetto "Visadi" regularly receives 90 points from the major international publications. Barrique-aged Nebbiolo/Barbera blend "Arte" was the original "super-Piedmont" wine; Marc de Grazia and Clerico devised this blend together in 1983.
Farming Practices: No systemic plant protection products (products that act by systemic transport – through the sap of the plant) are used. Sulfur- and copper-based products are the most prevalent. No herbicides are used (the soil is tilled). When needed, only organic fertilizer (manure) is used. There is little use of fertilizers in order to keep the grape production per vine low. Very careful use of SO2 in the wines.