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Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2007

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • RP96
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  • WE94
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

A perfect diagonal. Four vineyards are selected to bring out all the characteristics of the Barolo area. The vineyards of Baudana in Serralunga d'Alba, Villero in Castiglione Falletto, Vignane in Barolo and Merli in Novello form a perfect diagonal across the area which encompasses different terrains: light and sandy, more compact and deep, and all at different altitudes and exposures.

Harvested, vinified and aged separately, only the best lots are mixed together during the assemblage so as to express the uniqueness of the vineyards.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Barolo Le Vigne presents a beguiling combination of explosive, ripe fruit and finessed silky tannins that make it a thrilling wine to taste, even at this stage in its development. Small red berries, minerals, crushed flowers, vanillin and sweet spices are woven together in a fabric of undescribable elegance. The French oak has never been better balanced, while the vibrant, crystalline finish leaves a lasting impression. The 2007 Le Vigne has all the potential to develop into a spectacular wine, actually, it already is. This is a totally stunning bottle of Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.

Luciano Sandrone's wines have never been more elegant than they are today. The French oak is increasingly well balanced, and the at times excessive heaviness of some prior vintages is long gone. Simply put, Luciano Sandrone is at the top of his game. Never one to be satisfied, this year Sandrone showed me a number of experimental wines, including a barrel sample of 2009 Barolo Le Vigne vinified with 100% stems, an approach that is virtually unheard of in Piedmont. Although this wine will ultimately be blended into the Barolo Le Vigne, the all-stems Barolo was huge, explosive and totally compelling. Sandrone fans have much to look forward to, as the 2008s and 2009s appear quite promising at this admittedly early stage. As for the 2007s, they are off the charts.

JS 96
James Suckling
Blueberries, flowers and raspberries on the nose. Full bodied, with velvety tannins and a long caressing finish. Lots of toasted oak. Impressive intensity and richness to this. Best after 2015.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A lush texture frames blackberry, plum and spice flavors, upheld by the dense, steely structure. Well-proportioned, this needs time for the sweet fruit and structure to harmonize. Very long, with a core of cherry lingering. Best from 2016 through 2035.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This gorgeous Barolo has a penetrating, dark color and generous aromas of black cherry, tar, leather, tobacco, spice, black truffle and Spanish cedar. The intensity and power is impressive, and the mouthfeel is packed tight with ripe fruit flavors and a bold structure. Hold for 10–20 years to let those tannins evolve.
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Sandrone

Luciano Sandrone

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Luciano Sandrone, Italy
Video of winery

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.

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The center of the production of the world’s most exclusive and age-worthy red wines made from Nebbiolo, the Barolo region includes five core townships: La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto and the Barolo village itself, as well as a few outlying villages. The landscape of Barolo, characterized by prominent and castle-topped hills, is full of history and romance centered on the Nebbiolo grape. Its wines, with the signature “tar and roses” aromas, have a deceptively light garnet color but full presence on the palate and plenty of tannins and acidity. In a well-made Barolo, one can expect to find complexity and good evolution with notes of, for example, strawberry, cherry, plum, leather, truffle, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco and violets.

There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards farthest west and at higher elevations. Typically the Barolo wines coming from this side, from La Morra and Barolo, can be approachable relatively early on in their evolution and represent the “feminine” side of Barolo, often closer in style to Barbaresco with elegant perfume and fresh fruit.

On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian soils of compressed sandstone and chalks are less fertile, producing wines with intense body, power and structured tannins. This more “masculine” style comes from Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba. The township of Castiglione Falletto covers a spine with both soils types.

The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piemontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This finicky grape needs a very particular soil type and climate in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Tiny amounts are produced in Washington, Virginia, Mexico and Australia.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo at its best is an elegant variety with velveteen tannins, mouthwatering acidity and a captivating perfume. Common characteristcs of a well-made Nebbiolo can include roses, violets, licorice, sandalwood, spicebox, smoke, potpourri, black plum, red cherry and orange peel. Light brick in color, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best cuisine. The region is famous for its white truffles, wild boar ragu and tajarin pasta, all perfect companions to Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you can’t afford to drink Barolo and Barbaresco every night, try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba. Also search out the fine offerings of the nearby Roero region. North of the Langhe and Roero, find earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) in Ghemme and Gattinara.

LSB209173_2007 Item# 209173