“Luciano Sandrone expected this would be a beautiful year for Nebbiolo, with fruit showing the qualities of an important wine all throughout the growing season and right up to harvest. And yes, the 2015 Barolo le Vigne did turn out to be a great vintage, with a full aromatic array of perfumed rose, lavender and violet. For all of its generosity and expressiveness, with just a beautiful bouquet that sings out a seductive mezzo-soprano aria, be forewarned that in the mouth this is followed by rigidity and nervousness. That explosive bouquet might mislead you into thinking this is a rather evolved wine, but you certainly feel its youth on the palate. To be frank, this was an easy year to make wine, and it’s not a big surprise that this edition of le Vigne turned out to be as classic and as good as it is. It should get even better with time.”-95+WA
Luciano started to learn viticulture at the age of 14 or 15, and after years of work as a cellarman he depleted his life savings and purchased his first vineyard on the Cannubi hill in 1977, though he could only manage his land on the weekends while he continued to work. He made his first vintage in 1978, in the garage of his parents, and then spent years refining his ideas about how to make a wine of distinction and utmost quality that respected the traditions of Barolo while incorporating new ideas and understanding about viticulture and vinification. He made every vintage until 1999 at home, until the winery he constructed in 1998 was ready for use.
The new winery, built at the foot of the steep Cannubi hillside in the heart of the Barolo district, is characterized by the respect for tradition and desire for innovation that also define Sandrone wines. Luciano has devoted every fiber of his being towards cultivating the finest Nebbiolo expressions from his sites in Barolo and the Roero, and transmitting these expressions through his wines.
Sandrone’s wines are sometimes described as straddling the modern and traditional styles in the region: elegant, attractive and easy to appreciate right from their first years in bottle, but with no less power and structure than traditional Barolos. Along with the extremely low yields in the vineyard and an obsessive attention to training, pruning and harvesting, Sandrone has a very rational approach in the cellar. This approach, however, is also unique and outside of simple classification: Sandrone subjects his wines to medium-length maceration period, shorter than traditional, but makes limited use of new oak in the maturation process, which takes place in 500 liter tonneaux, all signs of a more traditional approach in the cellar. The entire range of wines, all limited in production, are jewels of impeccably balanced concentration and precision, and the ability to age for long periods of time.