From his first vintage in 1978 Luciano Sandrone set out to make a more approachable and drinkable Barolo. No one has managed to bridge tradition and innovation as brilliantly as Sandrone, rendering pointless any of the typical arguments in favor of one winemaking philosophy versus the other. Over the years Sandrone has turned out a stunning group of wines, often reaching stratospheric heights. Although Sandrone’s wines are accessible when young, they also age beautifully as is demonstrated by the wines from the 1980s. Yet as magical as the older wines can be, Sandrone believes his recent releases are even better, saying “today we know so much more about how to work in the vineyards and in the cellar.” Vinous
Luciano Sandrone Le Vigne Barolo – $169.95 per bottle – six packs
“The 2017 Barolo Le Vigne is rich, pliant and so expressive. Even so, I imagine it will need a few years to open up fully. Bright red fruit, rose petal, blood orange and spice give the 2017 its distinctly red-toned profile. Elegant and translucent, the 2017 is very nicely balanced. 95 Points Vinous
“Fragrant and delicious, this gorgeous wine opens with inviting aromas of rose, sandalwood, camphor and perfumed berry alongside whiffs of truffle and French oak. The full-bodied palate combines elegance and structure, featuring ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and a dollop of vanilla alongside firm, refined tannins. It’s already tempting but hold for more complexity. Drink 2024–2032.” 97 Points Enthusiast
“Opulent and very sexy with perfume, cedar, dried flowers and dried strawberries and just a hint of nutmeg. It’s medium-to full-bodied with round and finely velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. So seductive.” 97 Points James Suckling
Luciano Sandrone Aleste Barolo – $184.95 per bottle – six packs
“The 2017 Barolo Aleste is a dark, ample wine. Dark cherry, plum, new leather, spice and licorice bring out darker tones of Nebbiolo. All the natural power of these parcels come through effortlessly. Best of all, the 2017 will drink well with minimal cellaring.” 95 Points Vinous.
“The purity and brightness of Nebbiolo is so impressive here. Strawberries and blue fruit abound. Full-bodied, yet tight and very polished with a long, persistent finish. Very transparent and appealing. Drink in 2025 and onwards.” 96 points James Suckling
“Aromas of menthol, pressed rose, wild berry and grilled herb are front and center in this stunning wine along with a whiff of forest floor. Combining structure and finesse, the savory, full-bodied palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, blood orange and licorice before an espresso finish. Firm, refined tannins provide tight support. Drink 2025–2032.” 97 Points Enthusiast.
The 2017 Vintage:
“Warm” and “dry” are the words that best describe the 2017 vintage. Alleviating the heat were the excellent diurnal temperature shifts that brought cool air during the night, which provided relief to the vines even in the hottest days of summer.
The vintage will be remembered as one of the earliest of recent years. It has given wines showing great promise considering the fears of the beginning of summer, confirming how well-suited the hills of the Langhe are for winegrowing.
Acclaim for Luciano Sandrone:
“I can’t think of too many producers in Piedmont (or anywhere, for that matter) that have been as consistently brilliant over the arc of time”
“I consider Luciano Sandrone’s Cannubi Boschis (now Aleste) to be one of a handful of benchmark wines for the region, well worth the effort of finding and cellaring.” Vinous.