Lunch with Barbara Sanrone overlooking the rolling hills of Piedmont is an afternoon that will live on for quite some time in my memory. The location was Ristoronte Bovio in La Morra – up there amongst the best in the region, we were told. The food did not disappoint. However the food was always going to playing second fiddle to the wines that were about to indulge in. Barbara had arranged to show us her current vintage Barolo ‘Aleste’ Cannubi Boschis 2014, alongside a 13 year old Barolo ‘Le Vigne’ 2006 (amongst some newly released Dolcetto and Barbera).
Sandrone is considered to be in the same airspace as Barolo’s very top producers and it was plain to see why. Already big fans of the wines and happy to take as much as we are allowed to purchase each vintage, we were not a crowd that was going to take much convincing of the quality on show over lunch. The wines were lessons in elegance and restrained power; beautiful matches for the rich, hearty, winter dishes that kept coming and coming over the course of the afternoon. The generosity of Barbara was particularly appreciated and sharing a table with her felt like lunch with an old friend, despite having only met her once previously in Sydney.
Lunch concluded and Barbara invited us down to the winery for a look around. We accepted, of course, and were shown their hugely impressive facilities and barrel room, where the 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintage Baroli rest before being released to the world. This was a special visit and a great way to round out the afternoon. Thanks once more to Barbara for a truly memorable day. We look forward to repaying the hospitality next time you’re in Sydney!
Ches Cook, Five Way Cellars.