Aldo Clerico is an unassuming 31 year old who decided very early in his working life that the life of a winemaker was the path he wanted to take. As a young man just out of school he worked in 4 different cantine in the Alba area, trying to learn as much as he could about winemaking and work out his own individual techniques.
In 2004 he took over his family’s run down old winery and 6 hectares of vineyards which had been cultivated by his grandparents for many years, but always sold to the local cooperative. He renovated the old cellar and built a new barrel ageing hall – fundamental in the making of fine Barolo.
His vineyards are in the top quality Barolo commune of Monforte, and he has some Dolcetto vineyards in the Monchiero municipality. He is fortunate to have some excellent South facing exposures, perfect for ripening the slow-maturing Nebbiolo grapes. In the cellar he allows his wines to ferment naturally in tank with regular pumping over, then mature in either barrique or 300hl casks with a minimum of human intervention.
He now bottles under his own name the following wines:-
Barolo DOCG – 4,500bts p/a from 40-50 year old vines in Monforte d’Alba. The Nebbiolo vines have a southerly exposure and are harvested later in October when fully ripe. They are fermented for 15-20 days then aged in a mix of barrique and oak casks for 2 years, followed by a further year in bottle before release. This wine is full bodied and tannic, with rich floral, licorice and violet flavours. It needs at least 5 years in bottle before it should be drunk, and will develop easily for 20 years.
Langhe Nebbiolo DOG – 4,000 bts p/a from young (15-20 year old) vines in Monforte d’Alba. Harvested in early October – considerably later than the Dolcetto and Barbera – the Nebbiolo grapes are then fermented for 12 to 15 days with regular pumping over. They are matured in barrique for 12-16 months to give a wine with big structure, soft, rounded tannins and rich licorice fruit, with hints of tar and roses.
Barbera d’Alba – 4500bts p/a from 40-50 year old Barbera vines in Monforte d’Alba with a south/south Easterly exposure at 400ms altitude. The Barbera grapes are fermented for 12-15 days with daily pumping over to maximize fruit, colour and tannin extraction, then are matured in oak barrels for 12-16 months to give more body and weight to the wine. The wine has a wonderful freshness combined with richness of fruit and full body. It drinks well from 1 to 3 years after the vintage.
Dolcetto d’Alba – 4,000bts p/a. from 30-40 year old Dolcetto vines based in Monforte d’Alba; clay/calcareous soils with south east exposure. These wines see no oak in their vinification – the focus being to accentuate the fresh, bitter-sweet dark cherry fruit of the Dolcetto grapes to the maximum