domenico clerico, barolo, pajana 2013
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pajana represents the lower end of the same site that produces fruit for the Barolo Ciabot Mentin. The soils are a bit looser here and the temperatures are just a few fractions higher at this site. Winemaking for the 2013 Barolo Pajana sees 20 days of skin maceration, and malolactic fermentation in this vintage was done in oak (otherwise that second fermentation occurs in stainless steel). The idea, of course, is to work without oxygen, but if the malolactic fermentations are slow, the wine goes into wood, as is the case here. The wine later ages in barrique for 16 months with another 16 months in botte grande. The bouquet offers delicate layers of mineral and flint with dark fruit and spice neatly folded into its thick texture. Both the Barolo Pajana and the Barolo Ciabot Mentin are released one year after their peers.
Clerico's 2013 Barolo Pajana offers striking depth and textural richness to match its powerful, virile personality. Super-ripe red cherry, plum, sweet tobacco, cedar and spice resonate in the glass. All the elements meld together nicely in this very fine Pajana, though the tannins need time to soften. Hints of orange peel, Christmas cake and pomegranate add an exotic flair on the close.