March 11th, 2013
The Wine Advocate’s Executive Wine Seminars has hosted numerous Nebbiolo-based tastings over the years, showcasing the top Barolos and Barbarescos. In a turn from previous seminars, this year’s tasting focused on the finest examples of Barbera and Dolcetto. There were many in the spotlight with great reviews, one being Sandrone’s 2009 Barbera d’Alba with 93 points. See the full tasting note below or click here to read the full list of reviews.
2009 Barbera d’Alba (Luciano Sandrone) – 93 rating
“Impressive deep color. Gorgeous sweet, smoky, pheromone-like nose offers complexity and wonderful cherry and cassis fruit, with violet, minerals, and white pepper in the background. There’s a lot of oak in the nose and the overall feeling is that Sandrone took a modern approach with this Barbera. Equally impressive in the mouth, a huge, dense, concentrated, full-bodied, complex wine. The fruit is well-extracted and the structure is fortress-like. Maybe it’s “more Sandrone than Barbera,” but everyone loves this wine. Great length, too! A stellar candidate for the cellar and reasonably priced.”
December 19th, 2012
James Suckling released a tasting report of his top 100 Italian wines of 2012. He tasted over 3,00 Italian wines throughout the year and for the first time has selected his 100 best. Sandrone and Petrolo both made his list! Sandrone’s Barolo Le Vigne 2008 was given 95 points and Petrolo’s Boggina 2010 and Galatrona 2010 both scored 95 points as well. His tasting notes are below.
2008 Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne “Love the nose of this with freshly cut flowers and berries with just a hint of chiles, cocoa. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated tannins and a subtle fruity palate. The texture is beautiful. Better in 2015.”
2010 Petrolo Toscana Boggina “Very balanced and firm with lovely texture of fine tannins and blueberry, currant character. Full body, with silky tannins and a wonder finish. This tiny production pure Sangiovese shows richness and power with finesse. Such focus and beauty. Hard not to drink now.”
2010 Petrolo Toscana Galatrona “Aromas of black olives, violets and fresh fruit follow through to a full body, with a dense palate of dark fruits and olives. Long and polished. Handmade wine. You sense it. Pure Merlot sensation. Try in 2014.”
December 18th, 2012
The 2012 Sandrone Harvest Report newsletter was just released, sharing some great information on the year’s weather conditions. At the end of August there was a nice break from the heat by a 4-day rain shower that gently replenished the groundwater. While there had been several big thunderstorms (and two hailstorms in late July) during the summer, all of these were brief and intense and the precipitation tended to run off into the streams, not penetrate into the ground. So the late August rain was very welcome, offering some relief to the plants, which were beginning to exhibit some heat stress. Unlike 2011, nighttime temperatures cooled consistently showing good day-night temperature differential allowing a long, even maturation. Mid-September shorter rainstorms gave some trouble to the Dolcetto harvest that required additional bunch-by-bunch cleaning during the picking process.
The first small load of Dolcetto to make the pied de cuvée was picked on September 9. They brought the first full load of Dolcetto in on September 11 and had finished all the Docletto by the 22nd. Barbera was picked between September 25 and October 2. Valmaggiore was picked in three marathon days October 6-7-8. The Valmaggiore vineyard is their largest single piece of vineyard property and typically ripens over the course of a week, each parcel being picked separately as it reaches perfect maturity. This year, the even ripening during September lead to everything being ready at the same time. The wine will be exceptional!
Nebbiolo for Barolo began with Merli on the 3rd of October; they then picked Vignane, Villero, Baudana and Cannubi Boschis. Nebbiolo can suffer through cold and damp conditions easily – it is heat that makes it suffer. This year the heat was relatively normal – 3 weeks in August. The critical September ripening period was perfect for Nebbiolo: warm, sunny days, cool nights and gentle breezes. Sandrone finished harvesting the 14th of October, and Luciano is very happy with the results.
Ravera Cru, early October
Luca in Cannubi
Ivan and Simona in Villero
November 29th, 2012
The December 2012 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine had Sandrone’s 2008 Barolo Le Vigne as their highest scoring “Year’s Best” Barolo with 94 points, beating out every other Barolo reviewed for the report! They also had the 2008 Barolo Cannubi Boschis on the list with 92 points. Comments are below.
2008 Le Vigne“A blend of four estate vineyards – Ceretta, Conterni (both Monforte d’Alba), Merli (Novello) and Vignange (Barolo) – this is an astonishing 2008. It has the kind of tannic precision and detail that parallels the cool earth on a freshly dug truffle. The wine is youthfully compressed all the way through, a bright, savory sphere of flavor that forms a complex Barolo. All it requires is age.” 94 Points
2008 Cannubi Boschis “Boschis is the northern corner of the Cannubi hill, a vineyard facing south and southeast toward the morning sun. It produced a precise 2008, a reticent wine with fresh, brisk tannins and vibrant, cherry-red fruit. Grown in marine sediments of clay and limestone, this grows increasingly distinctive as it takes on air. The style is clean enough to enjoy it as a young wine, but the potential won’t be reached for ten years or more.” 92 Points
November 12th, 2012
Wine & Spirits Magazine Wineries of the Year issue features 100 producers that stand out for their superlative performances in their particular regions. Of the 100, Bruno Paillard and Sandrone have featured profiles for Champagne and Piedmont. For wineries to make the cut they must have earned at least three exceptional recommendations as well as the highest average scores in their regions overall. Click the image below to view Bruno Paillard and Sandrone’s profile and top scoring wines.
July 27th, 2012
Sandrone has earned Winery of the Year honors from Wine & Spirits magazine for 2012! Each year the magazine’s panels and critics blind taste more than 10,000 wines to present the most gripping wines to their readers. Throughout all the wines tasted, Wine & Spirits magazine recognizes the most consistent performance and highest scores as their Top 100 Wineries of the Year. ”Sandrone’s range of exceptional wines makes it a great ambassador for Piedmont,” says Wine & Spirits Editor-in-Chief Joshua Greene. The magazine will be featuring Sandrone as a Winery of the Year in their 2012 Annual Buying Guide set to be released later this year.
July 11th, 2012
It was a slow process but the Sandrone family is now the proud owner of an incredible addition to their estate vineyards, a few acres of land in the Baudana cru! In Sandrone’s recent newsletter they featured an article detailing the vineyard planting process.
The Baudana cru is among the most spectacular pieces of property never planted to vine in the commune of Serralunga. Sandrone divided the property into two pieces: the “Upper” section that is gently sloping to the west-southwest that is planted to mature and well-tended plants of about 30 years of age, and a “Lower” section that had a few rows of vines and many fruit trees.
What came as a bit of a surprise was the Lower Baudana. It has never been planted over to grape cultivation even though it is in the heart of the cru facing directly south. This section is considered prime Nebbiolo land. The Sandrone family replanted the whole lower section in the spring with vines whose fruit will eventually be destined for their Barolo Le Vigne bottling. Luciano believed this to be an important addition to the component vineyards as it will add even more structure and depth to the already-complex and long-lived Le Vigne.
After removing the existing trees, the Sandrones leveled the area, installed drainage improvements, tilled and worked the soil, added composted cow manure and laid out the placement for the eventual rows and plants. It was a 2-week process and the new plants have already sprouted and started growing. The fruit from the first 5-7 years of this vineyard will be sold in bulk until the qualitative level is sufficient for inclusion in the Barolo. They have a special planting guide that hooks over the end of each intermediate support pole and shows the exact height and placement of the new vine. Given the steep slope of the site, this means they have about 4000 plants per acre, slightly more than on gentler slopes. At the end of the process Sandrone will have a beautiful new vineyard and Luca and Luciano are very happy with the results.
Luciano in Baudana
Luciano and Luca setting post anchors
Luciano overseeing the planting
May 23rd, 2012
Charlene Peters, Boston City Guide Examiner editor and writer, attended the VINTUS Producer Tour in Cambridge several weeks ago. Peters discusses her experience at the event, explaining that it solidified her love for certain wines and allowed her to discover a number of new wines as well. The winemaker’s that took her by surprise and made an impressive showing were Finca Decero, Chateau Montelena, Xavier Milhade, Sandrone, Enrico Santini, and Telmo Rodriguez.
Click the image below to read the full article.
May 18th, 2012
Barolo superstar Luciano Sandrone will be in New York City in two weeks! He will present the full line-up of the Sandrone wines, including a mini-vertical of Le Vigne Barolo, at a dinner at New York Vintners in Tribeca on June 7. Click here to get tickets!