Domenico Clerico exudes both passion and panache. He loves the wines he makes, the land he tends, and the increasing number of pilgrims who beat a path to his cellar door. And in addition to being one of the most accomplished and articulate winemakers we have had the pleasure to meet, Domenico Clerico also qualifies as one of the most generous and gregarious of Piedmontese producers. And that says a lot in Italy’s Piedmont – a land renowned the world over for its cuisine and gastronomic delights of gargantuan proportion.
An invitation to Domenico Clerico’s estate in Monforte d’Alba is also as close to a guarantee of good living as one can hope to conjure. Not only does one drink with Domenico Clerico some of the finest wines produced anywhere in the world, the tender morsels Domenico serves and often raises, too, with pride and good cheer will make even the most ascetic of souls beg for more. One visit to the winery not long ago featured roast veal among the multitude of courses: it easily qualifies as the most flavorful, succulent meat ever raised. One of the accomplished chefs dining with us that evening remarked: “In my 60 plus years I’ve never tasted anything that could compare to this. The word extraordinary hardly does this veal justice.” No one else uttered a word, simply because their mouths were too full to sputter amen! Both tasty and tender this delectable veal was raised by no other than Domenico himself.
Yet, as superb as the meals are at Domenico Clerico’s table, the estate’s extraordinary wines constitute the main attraction. Each of Clerico’s oenological treasures emanates from one of his own vineyards in Monforte d’Alba, arguably the greatest township in Piedmont and the consummate source of the world’s finest Barolo and Barbera. Of the six Barolo vineyards in Monforte acknowledged to be “grand cru,” Clerico possesses vineyards in four of these crus: Ginestra, Pajana, Bussia, and Mosconi. Furthermore, his Trevigne Barbera has rightly earned the reputation as one of Piedmont’s illustrious treasures. In the case of both his Barolo and Barbera, Clerico’s wines are archetypical. They are singularly unique in their color, power, depth of flavor, and ultimate longevity. They consistently garner the highest recognition from the most esteemed critics and wine publications. Moreover, Domenico Clerico’s wines are among the most sought after by connoisseurs and restaurants, and for good reason. They are handcrafted expressions of the man himself.