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Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2012

Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • WS95
  • JS95
  • RP93
  • W&S93
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The differing terroirs of the Le Vigne gave a more backward and less evolved 2012 wine, with tight red and black fruits in the somewhat reticent nose, surrounded by leather, shades of truffle and nice minerality. In the mouth, the tannins are more pronounced in relation to its brother, with more black fruit character coming through at the mid-palate, accompanied by cola, licorice, balsamic and spice notes. There is excellent acidity, freshness and balanced power, but this will require 8-10 years of age to reach its drinking peak. The tannins are dry and long in the finish, with graphite and tobacco.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
A hint of oak lends this a spicy component, along with cherry, licorice and tar flavors. Racy and bright, with fine intensity and a long, tightly wound finish that seems to go on forever. Shows beautiful purity and class. Best from 2020 through 2036.
JS 95
James Suckling
Purity of fruit and balance here is very impressive. Firm and very silky tannins with a long, long finish that gives the wine amazing depth and intensity. Love the spicy and dense fruit character at the end of the palate.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Luciano Sandrone 2012 Barolo le Vigne shows the trademark ripeness that I so often identify in this historic product. The bouquet is round and plush with thick layers of dark cherry marmalade, blackberry preserves and dark currant. Beyond those apparent fruit aromas, Le Vigne offers dark spice and licorice with a beautiful menthol signature on the finish. The wine's natural structure is padded by soft tannins and lush fruit consistency. In all, this important wine is less vibrant and distinctive compared to other excellent vintages such as 2008 and 2010.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Sandrone selects fruit from four crus to make Le Vigne, blending a wine with flavors of macerated cherries and sweet vanilla, laden with notes of black spice, menthol and tobacco. The wine’s texture is smooth, its tannins having been polished during the two years it rested in 500-liter French oak barrels. Notes of lavender and orange zest brighten the darker fruit flavors as the wine evolves over several hours. The fruit and spice flavors linger vibrantly on the finish.
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Sandrone

Luciano Sandrone

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Luciano Sandrone, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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The story of Luciano Sandrone can be told in just a few words. Years of hard work as a cellarman, the purchase of his first vineyard on Cannubi hill, the first acknowledgements and then excellence.

The first harvest took place in 1978: since then the attention of Luciano and his brother Luca has been devoted entirely to the vineyards, fully aware that only perfectly selected grapes can be used to create a wine which lives up to the well-deserved fame that Sandrone enjoys all over the world. The new premises, built in 1998 at the feet of Cannubi hill, in the heart of the Barolo district, are characterised by attention to detail and rationality. The vinification process, while respecting tradition, reflects the desire for innovation that has always distinguished Luciano's work.

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

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 produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with 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.

YNG492522_2012 Item# 166845