Like a beautiful bunch of flowers, plus an orange amaro lift. The perfume flows onto the palate with added delicate spices and red licorice, too. Dusty, super fine tannins to close. Who needs Burgundy! Note: The aged release is another step up with Sandrone doing the cellaring for you. Ian Cook.
A blend of four small parcels, Le Vigne is Luciano Sandrone’s ode to traditional or regional-blended Barolo. To this end, all the sites that contribute to Le Vigne are markedly different in terms of altitude, exposure and soil. Together they help provide a broad overview of Barolo in any given year. Le Vigne includes fruit from four communes: Barolo (Vignane), Serralunga (Baudana), Novello (Merli) and Castiglione Falletto—in the renowned Villero Cru. Sandrone has a long-term lease of this latter site (perhaps best-known for Bruno Giacosa’s Villero bottlings between 1978 and 1996). The vines here average around 30 years of age, and Sandrone credits the Villero fruit as adding depth and structure to the blend.
From the 2019 vintage, Sandrone has added a fifth commune to Le Vigne’s bow with the addition of a wonderful source in Le Coste di Monforte in Monforte d’Alba (more on this story in a few years). Having such blending options, it is hardly a wonder that Le Vigne is today garnering similar or higher scores than the Aleste (Cannubi Boschis). It’s not a competition of course—rather, the two wines offer unique and equally impressive expressions of Barolo. They are the two faces of the Sandrone coin.
Regarding the winemaking, the fruit was mostly destemmed with a very high percentage of whole berries and a quarter whole-bunch. Wild yeast fermentation began in tank and following 10 to 30 days of maceration (depending on the parcel) the maturation occurred in mostly used, 500-litre French oak casks (only 20% new) for 18 months. It was bottled unfiltered and then held for a further 18 months before release.
As the notes below make clear, this is a wonderful, seductive and layered release of this wine. It demonstrates that the Piemontese are learning to deal with the warmer vintages they now encounter. This has all the flesh and fruit you could hope for, but it is also classical with loads of complexity and powdery tannins. It is already great to drink from the decanter, but I have the clear impression that it is a Le Vigne that will live a long and enriching life for those who are lucky enough to keep some bottles in the cellar.
“The 2017 Barolo Le Vigne is rich, pliant and so expressive. Even so, I imagine it will need a few years to open up fully. Bright red fruit, rose petal, blood orange and spice give the 2017 its distinctly red-toned profile. Elegant and translucent, the 2017 is very nicely balanced. Vineyard sources are Baudana, Villero, Vignane and Merli.” 95 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“Fragrant and delicious, this gorgeous wine opens with inviting aromas of rose, sandalwood, camphor and perfumed berry alongside whiffs of truffle and French oak. The full-bodied palate combines elegance and structure, featuring ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and a dollop of vanilla alongside firm, refined tannins. It's already tempting but hold for more complexity.” 97 points, Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast