2018 Michele Chiarlo Barolo 'Cerequio' Piedmont
Winemaker Notes: Ruby and garnet red in color, this structured and elegant wine offers notes of mature fruits, mint, eucalyptus, and fine spices with fine tannins. The 2018 vintage was characterized by a long winter with abundant snow and then rain in the spring, restoring the precious water reserve after 2017 experienced very little rainfall. May and early June required careful monitoring of grape health. The year continued with a hot and dry summer, and the abundant quantity of fruit required the elimination of excess bunches (thinning of 30-35%). An ideal climate in the last weeks of summer and then mild days and cool nights of September allowed for a gradual maturation and the development of elegant and complex aromas and flavors.
Situated between the municipal districts of La Morra and Barolo, Cerequio is considered one the most prestigious crus of Barolo. Formed like an amphitheater, the Cerequio vineyard is protected from the wind and is called the “Riviera of the Langhe” due to its mild climate. The soils, exposure and microclimate come together to create exceptional Barolos. Michele Chiarlo manages 22 acres of the vineyard. The soil is Tortonian and Helvetian-era calcareous marl that has a bluish color due to the high content of magnesium and manganese. The vines are thinned of excess bunches at the end of summer, leaving 5-6 bunches per vine on average. Hand harvested grapes are fermented on the skins in oak vats and then aged for two years in average sized oak casks before refinement in the bottle.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: - "The Michele Chiarlo 2018 Barolo Cerequio opens to a pretty lacework of aromas with smaller berry fruits, crushed stone, rusty nail, pressed lilac or blue flower and a dusting of spicy licorice powder. The bouquet is vertical and tight, leading to a very precise succession of varietal tones that flavor the wine's polished finish. The Cerequio has ample power as well, with etched tannins that grip this Nebbiolo firmly to the palate."