A little more power here – still very perfumed on the nose and palate, with underlying foresty notes, orange rind, tobacco and licorice. Macerated cherry, riper and a touch sweeter – the Cannubi vineyard is a warmer sun trap. More density and power, opulent yet firmly structured. A classic – try to keep a bottle for 10 years. Otherwise quickly reply and snap up one of the two bottles of the 2011 vintage. Ian Cook.
The name of the wine may have changed, but Sandrone’s famous single-cru Barolo is still, and will always be, 100% Cannubi Boschis. Boschis is a particular subzone near the northern end within the Cannubi hill. It’s a plot that is synonymous with this grower—located as it is, directly across from the Sandrone cellars. This Cru, of which Sandrone farms 1.9-hectares of 37-year-old vines, has a particularly good exposure to the south and south-east in a small amphitheatre or conca, that helps hold warmth in the early morning. Its soils are calcareous (chalky) clay with some sand, and there is consequently excellent drainage.
The Cannubi slope is complex, with soil variation, many different aspects and variation in altitude. “It looks like a sleeping dragon,” says Barbara Sandrone, reflecting the way the ridge of Cannubi snakes across the landscape. Highlighting the uniqueness of the wines of Cannubi Boschis, as compared to the rest of the Cannubi hill, Alessandro Masnaghetti [L’Enciclopedia delle Grandi Vigne del Barolo] writes, “The wines, in general, have good body, much elegance, and more polished tannins than other Cannubi wines”. First made in 1985, this was one of the pioneering single-cru wines of the region, helping to awaken the wine world to the potential of Barolo’s varied and complex terroirs.
Aside from a little bit longer on skins, the winemaking is essentially identical to Le Vigne: destemming with a very high percentage of whole berries and a smaller percentage of whole bunches; wild yeast fermentation; aging in mostly used, 500-litre French oak casks (only 20% new); and bottling without filtration after 18 months. In 2017 the Sandrone team picked their Cannubi Boschis in a single day due to the evenness of ripening, and because they were seeking to capture us much freshness as possible. This summation shines through in the final wine: the 2017 is a magnificent Cannubi, deep and structured yet with waves of opulent fruit to go with the ample tannins. It feels classical even if it has the generosity of the vintage. Yes, it can be opened early with pleasure (especially if decanted) yet, again I have the impression that this will make very old bones and will certainly be even better with a decade or more in the cellar.
“Aromas of menthol, pressed rose, wild berry and grilled herb are front and center in this stunning wine along with a whiff of forest floor. Combining structure and finesse, the savory, full-bodied palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, blood orange and licorice before an espresso finish. Firm, refined tannins provide tight support. Drink 2025–2032.” 97 points, Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast
“The 2017 Barolo Aleste is a dark, ample wine. Dark cherry, plum, new leather, spice and licorice bring out darker tones of Nebbiolo. All the natural power of these parcels come through effortlessly. Best of all, the 2017 will drink well with minimal cellaring.” 95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous