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Sandrone Barbera d'Alba 2014

Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
  • WS90
  • JS90
14% ABV
  • RP93
  • JS91
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • JS90
  • WS90
  • JS90
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In 2014, the Barbera suffered from a lack of warmth in the region; Barbera is a varietal that needs and thrives in heat. High malic acid development led to less pronounced fruit flavors. It is a leaner vintage, bracingly fresh and vibrant, but with less generosity than comes from hot vintages.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This has a laserlike feel on the palate, featuring blackberry and boysenberry fruit focused by bracing acidity. Textbook Barbera, with a juicy finish.
JS 90
James Suckling
A soft and fruity barbera for 2014 with chocolate, berry and light nutmeg character. Delicate and bright.
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Sandrone

Luciano Sandrone

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Luciano Sandrone, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
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Luciano Sandrone is one of the most iconic producers in Barolo, and his is both a well known and extraordinary story. He started to learn viticulture at the age of 14 or 15, and after years of work as a cellarman he depleted his life savings and purchased his first vineyard on the Cannubi hill in 1977, though he could only manage his land on the weekends while he continued to work. He made his first vintage in 1978, in the garage of his parents, and then spent years refining his ideas about how to make a wine of distinction and utmost quality that respected the traditions of Barolo while incorporating new ideas and understanding about viticulture and vinification. He made every vintage until 1999 at home, until the winery he constructed in 1998 was ready for use.

Sandrone's wines are sometimes described as straddling the modern and traditional styles in the region: elegant, attractive and easy to appreciate right from their first years in bottle, but with no less power and structure than traditional Barolos. Along with the extremely low yields in the vineyard and an obsessive attention to training, pruning and harvesting, Sandrone has a very rational approach in the cellar. This approach, however, is also unique and outside of simple classification: Sandrone subjects his wines to medium-length maceration period, shorter than traditional, but makes limited use of new oak in the maturation process, which takes place in 500 liter tonneaux, all signs of a more traditional approach in the cellar. The entire range of wines, all limited in production, are jewels of impeccably balanced concentration and precision, and the ability to age for long periods of time.

An historic village situated right in between the famous regions of Barolo and Barbaresco, Alba is also the name for the larger wine region surrounding the village.

In a sense, “Alba” is a catch-all phrase, and includes the declassified Nebbiolo wines made in Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the Nebbiolo grown just outside of these regions’ borders. In fact, Nebbiolo d’Alba is a softer, less tannic and more fruit-forward wine ready to drink within just a couple years of bottling. It is a great place to start if you want to begin to understand the grape. Likewise, the even broader category of Langhe Nebbiolo offers approachable and value-driven options as well.

Barbera, planted alongside Nebbiolo in the surrounding hills, and referred to as Barbera d’Alba, takes on a more powerful and concentrated personality compared to its counterparts in Asti.

Dolcetto is ubiquitous here and, known as Dolcetto d'Alba, can be found casually served alongside antipasti on the tables of Alba’s cafes and wine bars.

Not surprisingly, given its location, Alba is recognized as one of Italy’s premiere culinary destinations and is the home of the fall truffle fair, which attracts visitors from worldwide every year.

Friendly, approachable, and full of juicy fruit flavor, Barbera produces wines in a wide range of styles, from young and fruity to serious, spicy, and age-worthy. Piedmont is the most famous source of Barbera, but is also planted in the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It is one of the most successful and lasting remnants of the Cal-Italian movement, grown throughout the state of California—particularly in the Sierra Foothills—and has also found a foothold in parts of Australia.

In the Glass

Barbera is typically marked by red cherry, raspberry, and blackberry flavors backed by a signature zingy acidity and smooth tannins. More complex examples can include notes of cocoa, savory spice, anise, and nutmeg. In warmer New World climates, Barbera is all about the fruit, sometimes leaning towards over-ripe or dried fruit flavors that can give an impression of sweetness to the wine. Old World Barbera can develop intriguing notes of graphite, smoke, lavender, and violet.

Perfect Pairings

Barbera’s prominent acidity makes it a natural match with tomato-based dishes, therefore making it an easy pairing with a wide array of Italian cuisine. It works just as well with lighter red meat dishes, hamburgers, or barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Most Barbera wines come from one of two villages in Piemonte—Alba and Asti. Though it is difficult to generalize, typically Barbera d’Asti is softer and more elegant with bright, tangy acidity, while Barbera d’Alba tends to be fuller, rounder, and fleshier.

YNG224947_2014 Item# 329823