Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2014 Magnum

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A blend of several small parcels of vines from a number of communes, Le Vigne is Luciano Sandrone's ode to "traditional" or blended Barolo. All of the sites that go into Le Vigne are markedly different in terms of altitude, soil and exposure, and together they help provide a broad overview of Barolo in a given year. As for the previous release, this wine now includes fruit from four communes: Barolo (Vignane), Serralunga (Baudana), Novello (Merli) and a new source in Castiglione Falletto - the renowned Villero. Sandrone has taken a long-term lease on 1.5 hectares of this latter cru (perhaps best known for Bruno Giacosa's 'Villero' bottlings between 1978 and 1996). The vines here average around 30 years of age and Sandrone credits the Villero fruit as adding depth and structure to the blend. Regarding the winemaking, the wild yeast fermentation begins in tank before the malo and ageing occurs in mostly used, 500 litre French oak casks. Approximately 20-30% of the fruit is fermented in whole bunches with the destemmed portion of the fruit also having a very high percentage of whole berries. The maturation in cask for the 2013 lasted 26 months, followed by 18 months in bottle before release. Both Sandrone Barolos are bottled unfiltered. This is really a beautifully pure and classic Barolo from an estate at the top of its game. Yes, it's a lighter year, but this simply means the wine will drink better earlier. Expect a savoury, open and complex palate loaded with dark fruits, forest pine and loads of tobacco. The balance and structure are spot on and I think may well age better than many expect. Regardless, it will make for wonderful drinking over the next decade. Obviously the Galloni note below steal our thunder. Simply a lovely Le Vigne.

"The 2014 Barolo Le Vigne once again shows the wisdom of blending fruit from different sites. If there is a vintage where blending has the potential to be the difference-maker, 2014 is it. So it is hardly surprising to find the 2014 Le Vigne in such great shape. The red cherry jam, mint, cedar and floral notes are all finely sketched. Medium in body and classy, the 2014 is beautifully textured and inviting from start to finish. All the elements are simply in the right place. Vineyard sources are Merli, Vignane, Villero and Baudana." - 96 points. Antonio Galloni, Vinous

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