Clerico Francesco "Vigna Colonello" Barolo 2011
Clerico Francesco (the Piemontese tend to reverse the order of their names) is an organic producer of fine wine in the hamlet of Monforte d'Alba in Barolo, at the foot of the Italian Alps in Piedmont. Monforte d'Alba is known as one of the more full-bodied, rugged terroirs for Barolo and this is no exception – it's a wine of deep flavor and concentration, a result of the powerful 2011 Barolo vintage.
Black licorice, cigar, dried cherry, and potpourri jump out of the glass. The tannins are suave and well-defined, finishing in that savory-and-sweet, cherry-and-roses way that only fine Barolo can. It drinks superbly now and will make a fine contribution to your cellar over the next 5-10 years.
The Vigna Colonello vineyard is a minuscule plot; a handful of other producers grow Nebbiolo here, among them luminaries such as Aldo Conterno, whose exact same wine trades for $120/bottle or more.
A wine does not get more handmade than this – the ancient barrels and equipment all reside in a claustrophobic subterranean cellar, discreetly tucked away in a side street in Monforte d'Alba, population 2000.
In this age of ridiculous wine tariffs and corporate consolidation of famous vineyards and wineries, it's breathtaking to find authentic, artisanal Barolo, one of the world's most beloved wines, under three figures!