Product information

Domenico Clerico Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Capisme-e’ 2018

Nebbiolo from Monforte d'Alba, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy


$66ea in any 3+
$63ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork


Capisme-e means understatement and, as the name suggests, is Nebbiolo in its purest form – unoaked, shorter maceration time, with fruit purity and some concentration and generosity from the warmer 2018 vintage. This wine shows some muscularity without being astringent – Monforte darker fruits with some dried herb complexity, soft supple tannins and lots of energy. Despite its depth, as Oscar suggests in his video, this wine is about approachability – he thinks you can “smash it in 10 minutes at a barbecue.” Salute Oscar.

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Check out all of the wines by Domenico Clerico

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

For many years I struggled with the wines of Domenico Clerico. I could see wonderful fruit, yet, struggled with the oak. Over the last decade there has been a significant reduction in the use of oak in the wines. Less and less new oak being used, whilst, alternative storage, including ceramic eggs and large oak foudre from Stockinger has increased.

The result, vibrant, crunchy, layered wines with a great expression of fruit.

From the Importer

My first memories of Domenico Clerico in my trips to Barolo were from some years back, driving south from the Commune of Barolo, and approaching the tee intersection to turn off towards Monforte – on the right is their standout, magnificently impressive and architecturally designed estate. I suppose in some ways, before I first met Domenico Clerico and visited his winery, I already had developed thoughts on his wines, and seeing this structure helped confirm this – rich, powerful and modern wines with a level of polish and sophistication. What did surprise me though was how small Domenico’s production was compared to the impression given from this imposing estate.

Taking over from his father in the late 70’s, in his early years, Domenico Clerico had the foresight to begin acquiring more real estate in Monforte which (perhaps by luck) included parcels of land in some of the most sort after crus. These included famous vineyards including Bussia, Ginestra, Pajana and Mosconi.

Although regarded as one of the leaders of the modernist movement, in recent times, there has been a clear step away from this very ‘new world’ approach with a significant reduction in the amount of new wood used, along with the addition of some larger format oak (and even the odd concrete egg fermenter!) now being found at the winery. Other changes such as slower fermentation and maceration times are helping show each Crus individuality. Over the past 4 to 5 years, chief Oenologist Oscar Arrivabene has been working as Domenico Clerico’s right-hand man, and with the passing of Domenico Clerico in July, Oscar has fully taken over the reins.

Oscar Arrivabene Explores the Wines

The 2016 Vintage in Barolo

2016 has come at just the right time. We have a number of winemakers with incredible experience and wine wisdom. The vineyards in Barolo are in the best condition they’ve been in with incredible detail going into their care.

Combined we have a situation where vignerons are in the best possible position to make the most of the great fruit yielded by the 2016 harvest!

When you compare the 2015 & 2016 vintages you see the difference between a warmer vintage with a shorter ripening period and a cooler one with the longest ripening period in memory.

Nebbiolo responds beautifully to a cooler longer ripening. Once it reaches sugar level high enough to make a wine around 14-14.5% alcohol the sugar levels stop increasing, it tends to hold its acid and the tannins so important to the insane mouthfeel of Nebbiolo ripen and increase in depth.

Such vintages tend to offer wines with more perfume, energy, and, vitality.

The 2016 vintage was one of the longest-lasting in recent years. Early winter was dry and mild, however from the end of February through March, the temperatures dropped with plenty of rain, providing good reserves of water. The “late” cold delayed the vegetative cycle, and spring proper also started wet with average daytime temperatures but low overnight minimums, helping retain good health. This phenological delay continued until the end of the summer, which began slowly but extended until the end of September. The white harvest ran from September 5th to 20th, with the wines showing excellent aroma and good acidity due to cooler summer temperature peaks. The red harvest began immediately after with Dolcetto, followed without a break to the middle of October with the Barbera and Nebbiolo. 2016 was a very good vintage for Dolcetto, but even more so for Barbera, which acquired excellent levels of sugar over a long period of stable conditions, while maintaining the varietal’s typically good acidity. Nebbiolo also achieved good phenological ripeness, a direct result of the perfect warm, sunny conditions of the second half of September. Whilst it is still early, the 2016 vintage wines display excellent balance, generous aromatics and great structure, and in some cases lower alcohols, compared to 2015. 2016 promises to be a vintage which will be talked about for a long time to come!

2016 is already being mentioned in the same breath as 2004 & 1990!

Domenico Clerico’s Barolo Vineyards

Clerico’s Cru Barolo vineyards are all clustered together in Monforte d’Alba with the exception of the new holding of the Baudana Cru in Serralunga d’Alba that is the source of the Barolo ‘Aeroplanservaj’, a wine I have yet to try. Even the Langhe Nebbiolo’s ‘Arte’ and ‘Capisme-e’, and, the Dolcetto ‘Viadi’ and Barbera ‘Trevigne’ are from Monforte sites.

Click to Enlarge🔍

This 3D flyover is Epic covering each of the communes you can see just how varied and extreme the aspect of each vineyard is and how in the space of a few metres just how dramatically the change.

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Azienda Agricola Clerico Domenico, Borgata Manzoni, Monforte d'Alba, Province of Cuneo, Italy

Monforte d'Alba