Beautiful red cherry and Dolcetto crunch with great purity and finesse. Ian Cook.
“A wine to bring happiness” Barbera Sandrone.
Sandrone’s Dolcetto is, without doubt, one of the very finest examples of the region. The consistent quality of this wine—its purity, silky texture, fine tannins and balance—can only come with perfectly ripe fruit from top sites. In this case the sites are also high-altitude, which brings added freshness to the layers of fruit. From estate vineyards in Monforte d’Alba, Sandrone draws from Castelletto and Cascina Pe Mol. The latter sits at the top of the ridge leading from Monforte d’Alba to the hamlet of Perno and is among the highest vineyards of the region. In Novello, the fruit comes from Rocche di San Nicola and the whitish marls of Ravera—where the easterly exposure contributes perfume and aromatic complexity. Joining these sites now is fruit from Rivassi and Crosia in Barolo.
The wine is made only with natural yeasts, and each parcel is vinified separately before blending. There are typically 10 different parcels contributing to the blend, with those not making the grade sold off. There is no wood contact.
The amount of care that goes into this wine is quite remarkable and it shows in the glass. There is some history here: when Luciano Sandrone was starting off, he was driven to produce greatness, yet he could only access a limited quantity of Barolo vines. He therefore channelled his drive and energy into his Dolcetto (and Barbera). This helps explain the ridiculous quality on offer.
“The 2020 Dolcetto d'Alba is fresh, bright and nicely lifted. In this vintage, the Dolcetto is aromatic and medium in body. The combination of the year and a stylistic shift yielded an especially classic Dolcetto that will come as a shock to anyone who has been following the estate since the 2000s, give or take, when this wine was usually opulent and dense. Red cherry/plum and floral accents linger.” 89 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous