ALESTE is the natural continuity of Luciano’s first wine, the Barolo Cannubi Boschis, which garnered Luciano his early acclaim with the international trade and press. Giving all the experience, knowledge, patience and passion of his many harvests, Luciano pays tribute, with boldness and sensibility, to the next family generation: “ALESTE” is in fact the combination of the names of his grandchildren ALEssia and STEfano.
This single-vineyard wine is typically dense and concentrated but shows incredible harmony and balance. The medium-weight structure shows delightful and seductive notes of berries and cherries, with floral and mineral aspects. In great vintages, properly cellared examples will drink well for 20+ years. The finish is sweet and broad, with moderate, ripe tannins and long length.
The vineyard is one of the great cru sites in Barolo, synonymous with richness and complexity. Sandrone’s ALESTE Barolo is grown on the soil of Cannubi Boschis, in a specific sub-section of the Cannubi hill. Cannubi extends north from the village of Barolo and has been planted to Nebbiolo on its south and east exposures for at least a century. It runs approximately southwest-northeast and is entirely inside the commune of Barolo, from which it displays the characteristics of wines from this village: profound aromatic complexity and comparatively softer tannins in relation to vines grown in Monforte or Serralunga. The “Boschis” subzone of the Cannubi (also known, historically, as Monghisolfo) is near the northern end of the hill, and is located directly across the little valley from the Sandrone winery building. The Cannubi Boschis subzone has a particularly good exposure to the south and southeast in a small bowl or “conca” that helps hold the warmth in the early morning. Its soils are sea deposits of calcareous clay, not very deep, with good drainage.
Each lot of the vineyard is vinified separately, and 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 9-10 days of alcoholic fermentation. Immediately after alcoholic fermentation, which takes 28-30 days, malolactic fermentation takes place in 500 liter French oak casks. The wine is aged in these casks for 24 months, followed by 18 months of bottle aging. Around 800 cases are produced in a typical vintage.
The 2014 vintage, despite being one of the most complex to manage in recent years, gave way to very pleasant surprises as a result of favorable end of season conditions, which provided high quality in the vinified grapes. The spring, following a mild winter, came rather gently but prematurely. The amount of rainfall in the summer was above average, with real “cloud bursts” on a few occasions, although these were quite contained yet intense. Particularly significant were the rains of the 23rd and the 29th of July, which however had profoundly different outcomes: in some areas 63 mm of rain were recorded in a single day, while just 15 km away only 13 mm. The month of September was undoubtedly positive from a climatic point of view, with a good diurnal temperature shift, significantly contributing to grape quality and phenolic maturation. Nebbiolo is the varietal that responded best to the beautiful climatic conditions at the end of the maturation period. Where the operations of thinning and cleaning of the bunches were carried out correctly during the complete vegetative cycle, excellent results were achieved. Harvesting operations began in October from the 10th and lasted until October 18th.
Sandrone Aleste 2014 is a wine of an elegant personality, ageable and able to transform and transmit over the years of maturation the nobility of its character, origin and style. In the glass, the color is beautiful and brilliant garnet red. The fragrance, rich and complex, begins with floral notes – iris, aromatic herbs and dried hay- then raspberry and wild strawberry, and finally ethereal spice notes of cinnamon and green peppercorns as well as tobacco. The flavor is rich and decisive, enveloping and warm, with notes that recall the aromas of spices and jams, herbs and tobacco. It is a dense, structured and long-lived wine, yet one of elegant character: the acidity and tannin give balance to the wine and the finish is velvety.
Follows organic farming but has chosen not to seek certification. Minimal quantities of Bordeaux mixture and sulfur (as allowed per organic practices) are used to control mold and fungus, and fertilization every 4-6 years occurs with composted manure from dairy cows.
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Wine Enthusiast (Cellar Selection) -
"Dried rose, blue flower, aromatic herb, wild berry and a whiff of pipe tobacco are just some of the aromas you'll find on this stunning red. It's elegant and structured, delivering raspberry compote, crushed strawberry, cinnamon and star anise framed in bright acidity and firm fine-grained tannins. It has fantastic tension and energy, and promises to age well for years."
Other Wines by this Producer
Le Vigne is a wine created from four different Nebbiolo vineyards, each of which brings its own contribution. This union generates an exceptionally complex wine that is round and harmonious on the palate, with fruity and spicy notes, and this approach of blending together plots is in fact the traditional one in Barolo.
Valmaggiore is the product of Luciano’s incredible passion for the Nebbiolo grape variety and its different expression. Just 15 miles away from Barolo, in the Roero region, Nebbiolo produces a lighter structure and ripe, smooth tannins that are not unlike those of Pinot Noir. This is not a “baby Barolo” or a second wine at all – it is a distinct interpretation of Nebbiolo from a completely distinct geographic zone.
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. It is widely considered one of the most intense and complex Barberas produced.
Sandrone's Dolcetto d’Alba is produced using Dolcetto grapes from 11 different vineyards, all within the Barolo DOCG. Sandrone’s Dolcetto sees no time in wood and is a remarkably robust and complex example of the variety.