About this WINE
Today, Sandrone is one of Barolo’s most admired names, but this producer came from humble beginnings. The son of the local carpenter, Luciano Sandrone always dreamed of owning his own vineyard and making his own wine. He achieved his lifelong ambition in 1978, buying a small plot in Cannubi Boschis. This now-legendary vineyard proved pivotal in securing his family’s fortunes; Luciano’s wines were among the first in the region to garner worldwide acclaim. Driven by Luciano’s clarity of vision, the estate has since expanded to over 20 hectares. His original vineyard, now in front of the family’s home and winery, produces the fruit that goes into their Aleste Barolo. Since the early ’90s, Luciano has worked alongside his children Luca and Barbara, and increasingly his grandchildren Alessia and Stefano.
Barbara Sandrone beams with pride for ’18, which draws similarities to the great ’08 and ’12 vintages. It was a challenging growing year in the vineyards, but the end of the growing season was calm, and the resulting wines are classical and fine. The suppleness of the vintage mutes some of the firm intensity we know from Sandrone, but the wines do not suffer from it. Instead, they feel alive and open, coiled with that serious, polished edge we know and admire from this resplendent family cantina.
Barbera is planted extensively in Piedmont and south-west Lombardy and accounts for over 50% of the wine produced in the region. The majority is sold simply as Barbera del Piemonte, but the best wines are the DOCs, Barbera d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti. It ripens late (after Dolcetto but before Nebbiolo).
The wines are usually ruby red in colour with notably low levels of tannins. They have a pronounced acidity that can be accentuated by overproduction. Barbera wines range from light, tart mouthwashers through to powerful, intensely flavoured wines that require extended cellaring.