MCF Rare Wine Ltd.
Barolo Deal: Clerico Pajana 2011

I think I'll call this a FaT Barolo deal -- as in Friday after Thanksgiving -- just because for completely stubborn reasons I refuse to refer to today by its famous nickname.

I do think you'll find this offer as pleasing as any of the barrage of deals you're seeing today, though.

Domenico Clerico is one of the most esteemed producers in Italy.  His Baroli are beloved all over the world, especially in Italy, most especially in Piedmont.  

The other week, I was having a discussion with one of my longtime customers who loves traditional Barolo about how, when he was in Piedmont over the Summer, all of the locals seemed to have a slightly different opinion of things than he expected.

Here in America among the most hard-core Barolo fans, the narrative revolves around reverence for the old-school greats -- the Mascarellos, G Conterno, Cappellano, G Rinaldi, Cavallotto, etc.

But if you talk to locals, and Italians in general, many of them would be sort of puzzled by that.  That's because, speaking broadly of course, Italians like a clean, polished wine -- something that is more approachable in its youth, instead of something so old-fashioned that it takes decades to mature.

They see the old greats that American Barolo snobs love as quirky, stubborn people who refuse to change with the times.  Obviously, you know that my heart lies with these stubborn old wines, but that's not to say I don't appreciate the newer style, because I do.

Among the newer-style producers that native Italians love, Clerico is arguably held in the highest esteem and many famous winemakers from all over Italy speak as highly of his wines as any producer in the world.

As one of the 'Barolo Boys' in the '80s, Clerico believed in power, extraction and new oak -- characteristics that (among other things), added approachability and international appeal to Barolo.

In the last decade or so, the big, flashy and powerful style he was known for in the 80s and 90s has slowly shifted back towards the center, and nowadays his wines represent a nice balance of 'new' and 'old'.

Case in point, today's wine, the 2011 Barolo Pajana.  It's a Clerico for sure, with its silky texture, bright fruit and polished tannins.  It shows a wonderful array of red-tinted aromas and flavors, but shows less of the candied fruit and more of the flowery, earthy side of Barolo than it used to.

The Barrique are 80% new and 20% used, and the oak is apparent, though not as dominant as it once was.

Underneath the polished facade is a wonderfully solid backbone that will allow this wine to evolve nicely over the course of a decade plus.

As I've been ranting about for over a year now, 2011 Barolos are worth every bit of your attention and here's a chance to get a really good deal on a really good example.

There's plenty of appeal to this beauty and only a limited number of bottles to go around and it's being offered today at a very enticing pre-arrival price.

** pre-arrival purchase, Jan-Feb 2017 ETA **