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Barbera d'Alba

Barbera is a delicate and demanding grape varietal. A meticulous search throughout the area for the very best soils, agronomical decisions and particular attention to vinification enable Sandrone to reveal the very best qualities of this wine.  Barbera d\'Alba is made to be a medium-weight wine that will drink well for a decade. It shows delicious and plump berry and black fruits. As Barbera possesses almost no natural tannins, the use of tonneaux gives the wine some much-needed structure. It is a perfect match with rich winter dishes as the bright acidity keeps it from being too heavy.

The Sandrone Barbera d\'Alba comes from three vineyards: Merli and Rocche di San Nicola in Novello, and Cascina Pe Mol in Monforte d’Alba.  The Sandrone section of the Merli is a south-southwest facing bowl that catches the afternoon light perfectly. The wines made from here are earthy and robust, but with good aromatic complexity.  Rocche di San Nicola is an extremely steep vineyard at the very end of the Novello promontory, just above the tall clay cliffs that plunge down to the streambed that flows toward Monchiero. It receives incredible sun and heat and is almost constantly breezy; it is thus perfectly situated for Barbera, which thrives in these conditions.  The crumbling farmhouse (cascina) of Pe Mol sits at the top of the ridge leading from Monforte d’Alba to the hamlet of Perno and is among the highest vineyards in the region. Because it sits at the top of the ridge, it is unsuitable for Nebbiolo, a fickle plant which abhors windy conditions. At the top of the ridge, Barbera thrives, and slightly down the slope are excellent plantings of Dolcetto. From this lofty perch one can see the Monte Bianco, the Monte Rosa and the Cervino on a clear day (Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn, respectively).

Each vineyard is vinified separately.  After destemming and light crushing, the must is covered with CO2 for a gentle warm maceration of approximately a day.  Alcoholic fermentation begins about 24-36 hours later from native yeasts.  A gentle maceration takes place in upright open-top steel tanks for the first 8-10 days of alcoholic fermentation.  Immediately after alcoholic fermentation, which takes around 20 days, malolactic fermentation takes place in 500 liter French oak casks.  The wine is aged in these casks for 12 months, followed by 9 months bottle aging.  Around 1,800 cases are produced in a typical vintage.

   
Barbera d'Alba bottle