2010 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne
Vinous (Galloni) | 100 VM
Vinous Media | 100 VM
This compelling wine delivers a combination of concentration and complexity. It opens with a multifaceted fragrance that includes mature black fruit, leather, cinnamon and balsamic notes. The palate is still tightly wound but offers bright red berry and black cherry layered with notes of tobacco, alpine herbs and baking spices alongside bracing tannins and invigorating acidity. It’s young but impeccably balanced. Drink after 2020.
Wine Enthusiast | 97 WE
A gorgeous young wine with flowers, sandalwood and berries on the nose. Full body, with ultra-fine tannins and a long, long finish. Wonderfully harmonious. A blend of wines from different vineyards. So attractive to drink now but better in 2017.
James Suckling | 96 JS
The 2010 Barolo Le Vigne is composed from an assembly of fruit sourced from the townships of Barolo, Novello and Serralunga d’Alba. It reflects Barolo tradition in which, years ago, this noble wine was made from a wide assembly of fruit instead of single cru sites (as is the custom today). Bright cherry fruit, blackberry and creme de cassis segue to profound layers of licorice, spice, cola and anisette. It feels strong and tonic in the mouth with a pleasingly velveteen texture and a fresh dose of zesty acidity. Drink: 2017-2030.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP
A rich version, boasting floral, macerated cherry, plum, menthol and tobacco flavors. The tannins are dense, but this remains vibrant and elegant overall, finishing with spice and earth notes. Exhibits excellent harmony and length. Best from 2018 through 2035. 1,450 cases made.
Wine Spectator | 94 WS
Luciano Sandrone blends Le Vigne from crus he farms and, mostly, owns. In this vintage, he selected fruit from Baudana, Merli and Vignane, aging the wine in 500-liter French tonneaux, 20 to 25 percent new. His Barolo can be massive, and Le Vigne is boldly ripe and black-fruited in 2010, but also poised and balanced in its size. The tannins are intense, coating the mouth with their powerful earthiness, with the rootiness of a parsnip pulled straight from the ground. The fruit closes in over the tannins, so they don’t feel at all gruff. The lasting impression is elegant and classical, what the wine will become in ten years.
Wine & Spirits | 94 W&S
Wine Details for 2010 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne
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: Barolo have cemented their spot as one of Italy's most famous and desirable achievements, decorating the cellars of every serious wine collector. While the grape they're made from is rather dark and dusty-looking, the elixir that comes from this varietal is an almost crystal clear, light red, like a pair of seductive lips glistening in the candlelight.
: Nebbiolo is the superstar grape variety and driving force behind the top-quality red wines of northwestern Italy. The Italian winegrowing appellation of Piedmont is covered by a sea of Nebbiolo grape vines. It is the undisputed king of grapes in the twin hillside villages of Barolo and Barbaresco, where some of the world’s most coveted wines hail from.
Quality over quantity is the motto for this subtly powerful grape. A mere 5,500 hectares of Nebbiolo are cultivated around the world, of which, more than 4,000 are found in Langhe and Roero. The varietal has been growing here since the 1st century and has been called Nebbiolo since the 1200’s. Like most ancient grape varietals, there are many speculations as to its true origin, but what is certain is that in the hills of Langhe and Roero, Nebbiolo has found its ideal environment.
Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon which is a versatile grape, Nebbiolo has not thrived when planted in wine regions outside of northern Italy. Nebbiolo is more like the finicky Pinot Noir: difficult to grow and highly reflective of terroir. The varietal thrives on calcareous marl, a lime-rich mudstone that is found on the right back of the Tanaro River (home to Barolo and Barbaresco) where it grows best in its warm climate and ample sunlight. The growing conditions in the hilly areas of Barolo and Barbaresco are optimal and produce some of the most sought after wines not only in Italy, but in the world.
The Nebbiolo vine buds earlier than most grapes grown in Piedmont but harvested last. The berries do not appear until long after flowering, making it very susceptible to poor weather conditions. The name Nebbiolo is thought to have come from the Italian word for fog, nebbia, which is common during the fall when the local hillsides are covered in a ghostly haze.
The iron fist in a velvet glove, which is a witty slogan for the wine of Barolo, can aptly be used to define the Nebbiolo grape itself. The thin-skinned, light colored grape packs a punch, producing wines that are light ruby when young and fades to a pale garnet when older. This characteristic should not be mistaken as watery; wine produced from Nebbiolo is super concentrated and flavorful with high acidity and tannins. When properly vinified, the best vintages will last for decades.
Despite the challenges of this fussy grape, some growers in the “New World” are trying their hand at harvesting Nebbiolo. In South Australia young producers are making wines that are fruiter and less tannic than their Italian counterparts. This novel take on the Italian grape has prompted California, Chile and South Africa to begin small plantings of Nebbiolo.
The iron fist in a velvet glove, the undisputed king of Piedmont and the deceptively powerful Nebbiolo grape may be limited in quantity, much-coveted, nearly exclusive to Italy, demands aging and can sometimes command high prices; the wait, the price and the difficulty in finding it is rewarded with one of the greatest wines made from the mighty Nebbiolo grape varietal.
: Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.
Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.
The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.
The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.
With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.
: Italian culture values the unbreakable bond we share with family and very few things showcase that connection quite like a shared meal. Therefore, it's only natural that wine would also take its place as an important cultural aspect. Fine Italian produce always goes well with a variety of dishes, and that makes these wines an incredibly popular choice among wine enthusiasts who appreciate a good get-together. The foothills of the Alps help define this region's significantly colder, continental winter climate, but during the summer, the conditions are similar to the region of Burgundy.
Flavor-wise, this region has a mind-boggling variety to offer. Not only is there a healthy selection of approved grapes to work with, but the soil often varies from estate to estate, letting every wine stand out. Expect to encounter powerful notes of rose petal flavor, spices, cherries, dried herbs, anise, and many more. Every bottle has a story to tell. Those of you with a tendency to hoard and collect fine wines will be especially intrigued, as Piedmont wines tend to mature extremely well, developing nuance and becoming more and more delicious as time goes on.