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ALESTE Barolo - Our family´s flagship wine, rededicated

Heart and continuity.  ALESTE is the natural continuity of Luciano's first wine, the Barolo Cannubi Boschis. Giving all the experience, knowledge, patience and passion of his many harvests, Luciano pays tribute, with boldness and sensibility, to the next family generation: "ALESTE" is in fact the combination of the names of his grandchildren ALEssia and STEfano.


An iconic wine. From the very first bottling in 1985, Luciano always believed in the unique and distinctive potential of the Cannubi hill, and that he wanted to express this potential by way of a separate vinification. This bottling pays homage to the richness and elegance of the favored Cannubi site in the heart of the Barolo. The optimal soil and climate conditions, harvest after harvest, have brought forth a wine that has drawn international attention since its first release.

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Passion, transparency, integrity, value. We, the Sandrone family and our winery staff, believe that the best and only representation of our work and effort is the quality in the bottle, not a pretty ad campaign or flashy marketing.

The Sandrone winery was founded in 1978, born from a desire to make the finest possible expression of the Nebbiolo grape from the unique terroirs of the Langhe. This passion has informed the decision making at every step of the process. Furthermore, the wines should represent the best quality achievable at every price point. In effect, the basic wines are made with the same commitment to quality as the luxury cuvees.

Between 1973 and 1977, several bottles exist that were “made” by Luciano’s father from purchased bulk wine. He put a family label on them to give as gifts to his customers and friends. A few remaining bottles of 1973 and 1975 Barolo decorate the winery. These are not recognized as Sandrone wines – Luciano did not make the wine!

In late 1977, Luciano was able to purchase a first small part of the Cannubi vineyard. The following year (1978) he began making minute quantities of his own wine in the garage of his parents’ home, testing and refining his ideas about how to make a wine of distinction and high quality that respected the traditions of the Barolo, while incorporating many of the new technological innovations that were being used to make Barolo less forbidding and hard. In 1982 he met his first international distributor at VinItaly who bought nearly all 1500 bottles of his first 1978 Barolo and who began exporting his wines first to the US and Switzerland, then eventually around the world. Dolcetto and Barbera were added in 1981 and 1982. The growth of Luciano’s Cannubi production was slow and measured as adjoining parcels became available.

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All vines are planted relatively close as vineyards are replanted and renovated to encourage competition and a degree of plant stress. Guyot basso training is used on all varietals. A minimum of 2 green harvests are performed each vintage. Minimal quantities of Bordeaux mixture and sulfur (as allowed per organic practices) are used to control mold and fungus. Canopy management is the same at every vineyard, and defoliation is on the west side of the plant for maximum afternoon sun if and when needed. Fertilization is every 4-6 years with composted manure from dairy cows only.


The Sandrone family farms a total of 27 hectares (some production is sold in bulk from less-favored sites), of which approximately ¾ are owned by the estate. Once a site is decided upon, it is analyzed for the best possible planting situation in terms of varietal, clonal selection, orientation of the vines and rows and any needed improvements in drainage or access. Some vineyards when purchased or rented are ready with established plants, others have required extensive renovation and modification. The family strives to find and secure the best possible sites for all of its bottlings.


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Our goal is to make the best possible wine for the vintage and vineyard, at every price point. Sandrone wines are generally all made in the same way, no matter if it is an inexpensive Dolcetto or the flagship Cannubi Boschis Barolo. The winemaking at Sandrone is a combination of traditional methods and modern techniques. In the vineyards, the grapes are all treated and cared for the same way, and yields are kept roughly consistent. Broadly speaking, the different wines undergo the same processes and winemaking techniques in the cantina. Any variability, for example, is in the type and length of oak treatment, maceration time and age before releasing to market.

Luciano wants his winemaking techniques used to be as consistent as possible from year to year so as to make the hand of the winemaker less apparent. He believes that this leads to a more honest representation of the wine’s qualities from year to year: the wine will better reflect individual terroirs and vintages when the techniques used in the vineyards and cellars are broadly uniform.

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Inside information

The story of Luciano Sandrone can be told in a few words.

Years of hard work as a cellar man, then all of sudden preceded the opportunity to buy a vineyard on Cannubi hill, in the heart of the Barolo wine zone. The first harvest in '78, the first satisfactions. Then more vineyards, more harvests and new acknowledgements. Right from day one, Luciano and his brother Luca have strived to achieve excellence.


Today this achievement is acknowledged the world over and is confirmed with every vintage. Balance is the keyword: in the cellar, between innovation and tradition; in the wines, between elegance and body; in the estate, between international distribution and a “human” dimension. Excellence is created in the vineyard. It is in the vineyard that quality has birth. Every wine is the product of the expression of single characteristics of each parcel, with its soil, its microclimate, its yeasts and its character. This process is possible only when there is knowledge and respect for the individuality of each vineyard, constant care and dedicated attention, at all times. Currently the estate farms a total of 27 hectares, 75% of which are owned, and produces between 90-100,000 bottles (about 8,000 twelve-bottle cases) per year. None of the wines are made from purchased grapes, and the rented vineyards are managed and farmed in exactly the same way as our estate vineyards. The current lineup of 5 bottlings was finalized after the 2001 vintage.


Barolo Cannubi Boschis is the flagship wine and is the one that earned Luciano his early success, being one of the first Italian wines to earn 100 points from the noted critic Robert Parker. This single-vineyard wine is typically dense and concentrated, but shows incredible harmony and balance. The medium-weight structure shows delightful and seductive notes of berries and cherries, with floral and mineral aspects. In great vintages, properly cellared examples will drink well for 20+ years. The finish is sweet and broad, with moderate, ripe tannins and long length.


Barolo Le Vigne is often a dark and impenetrable wine in its youth, where the tannins and structure from the higher-altitude vineyard sites make the wine less approachable. With proper cellaring, this wine reveals more classic Barolo aspects of black cherries, tar, violets and roses. This wine can outlive the Cannubi Boschis bottling in great years: Le Vigne shows more tannins than its brother and possesses amazing freshness and length.


Pe Mol was made for only three vintages: 1999, 2000 and 2001. It was a site-specific bottling; Pe Mol is a vineyard on the ridgetop between Monforte d’Alba and the hamlet of Perno. The site was originally planted to Barbera and Nebbiolo and the 3 vintages that were bottled are a blend of the vine mix in the vineyard. The Pe Mol bottling shows excellent fruit and structure, exhibiting a mix of black plums and cherries, with berry notes, excellent acid and structure and a long, ripe finish. However, Luciano and Luca decided the site was too windy for the Nebbiolo plants, which never grew particularly well here (Nebbiolo does far better away from the tops of the hills), and replanted the Nebbiolo with Dolcetto (which thrives here) after the 2001 harvest. Luciano believes in planting the most appropriate vine at each particular location, even though Nebbiolo earns far more revenue once bottled. Furthermore, replanting with Dolcetto further improved the quality of the already-excellent Dolcetto.

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6 different wines with 65 vintages


  • Luciano Sandrone

    In 1981, I brought my first vintage, the 1978, to Vinitaly. I’d produced only 1500 bottles, but there was an American broker there who wanted them all…


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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  47 wines 

Domaine Etienne Sauzet Montrachet Grand Cru 2017
Incredible intensity and depth in this Montrachet in 2017. Focused, complex with layers of toasted nuts, white flowers and lots of minerals. Wonderful example of this grand cru vineyard. The wine stands out as clearly the most complex and intense from Sauzet. From 50-60 year old vines; only 4 barrels made.

99 points

2m 11d ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  3 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  35 wines 

2006 Inniskillin Vidal Oak Aged Icewine / Amber. Rich, intense, caramelized apricots, overripe plums, more overpowering than complex. Fresh acidity, rich, sweet, intense, caramelized, candied apples, overripe plums, ripe and long. 94p

4m 16d ago

 Barbara Sandrone, Wine Producer (Italy)  tasted  20 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  20 wines 

It required 25 years of experiments, tests and critical evaluations. In 2019 the first bottle of Barolo Vite Talin 2013 vintage will emerge from the Sandrone winery after 6 years of evolution and refinement. This wine was born and destined to be the one as imagined by Luciano.

"Vite" is the Italian word for vine and it has given in honour of the singular and unique plant. "Talin" to celebrate the elderly owner of the vineyard, the same Talin who believed in the ability, patience and humble winemaking skills of the young Luciano.

The wine is vinified in a large open-topped wooden vat, then matured two years in tonneaux of French oak followed by a year in large casks before being held in bottle for an additional 3 years. Vite Talin is a precious, rich wine, suited to long cellaring, with an intense and impeccable garnet-red colour, of varied and full aromatics which at the moment are predominantly floral and fruity, and with hints of emerging spice notes. The wine is structured and powerful with significant tannins, which promise great potential for long cellaring.

The label also highlights the specific and unique character of Vite Talin: a wine in which the grape's unique character is more intense than the terroir.

5m 25d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Yesterday a fine tasting with friends including wines from 1908-2019. Best ones were Harlan 2011, Cristal 1962, Cheval Blanc 1947, Monfortino 2009 etc.

6m 12d ago

 Monica Larner, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  4 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  28 wines 

Luciano Sandrone  Barolo le Vigne 2014 / Luciano Sandrone and his daughter Barbara tell me that the 2014 harvest needs explaining. Many are quick to dismiss it given the difficulties of the growing season that saw abundant rain, hail and bombe d'acqua, or "water bombs," which are a dangerous phenomenon with intense rainfall in a very small radius. But hard work does pay off. The Sandrone family employed 38 people for farming, when the average harvest requires only 22 pairs of vineyard hands. Great care was required to keep the leaves and the clusters healthy. The 2014 Barolo le Vigne is bright and fruit-forward. It is perhaps more accessible in the near term compared to past editions. It delivers dark fruit nuances over a mid-weight and compact mouthfeel.

The big news this year from the Sandrone family is the introduction of a new wine: The Barolo Talin that we will see in markets next year. This spectacular new project is 30 years in the making. The Sandrone family noticed a single vine that caught their attention, thanks to the quality fruit it produced. Following a long certification process with professors at the University of Turin, they finally had conformation that their mystery vine was indeed Nebbiolo. Luciano Sandrone is now celebrating 40 long years of winemaking (1978-2018). Congratulations.

1y 19d ago

 Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  2 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Niepoort Vintage Port 2017 / All from Cima Corgo. All field blends, including Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Tinta Roriz, etc, oldest vines 80–100 years. Any overripe grapes removed. 100% foot trodden with 100% stems. Press wine very important – like 'gold', says Niepoort. Not from all the vineyards just from his four favourite, eg Pisca. To be bottled June 2019.
Black cherry colour with narrow purple rim. Gorgeous pure hedgerow black fruit and no sense of the alcohol on the nose – it has been completely integrated with the fruit already. Ripe blackberry, elderberry and blackcurrant and a touch of spice, wild fruit. Incredibly intense on the palate but not showy and the tannins make it taste almost dry. Wonderful texture, great freshness, the tannins ‘sweep the sweetness out of the mouth’, as Mondavi once said to Niepoort. Incredible purity, freshness, intensity and harmony. I’ve put a start date of 2025 but this is ridiculously delicious now even though it clearly has massive potential longevity. An incredible dark, rocky purity with a long savoury finish, the fruit is intense but not ultra-fruity. This reminds me of the rocky Douro from which the wines come. Sheer beauty with hidden power. Glorious, very long, totally moreish even now.

1y 2m ago

 Luciano Cesare, Wine Dealer (Italy)  tasted  6 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Aldo Conterno Barolo Granbussia 1990 / 96 points / This is a big, broad-shouldered wine of tremendous power and longevity. This wine explodes from the glass with a profusion of red and black fruits, exotic spices, tarry earth, pressed herbs, crushed rose petals and savory notes like tapenade and pencil lead. This wine shows astonishing symmetry in its elements, crossing the palate with a velvety feel and building to a lingering, resonant finish. Granbussia Riserva’s grapes come from the prime Bussia plots of approximately 70% Romirasco, 15% Cicala, and 15% Colonnello. The grapes vinify in large temperature-controlled Slavonian oak casks for about sixty days, and the wine ages in botti for about three years before bottling; the wine is released about eight years after the harvest.

2y 1m ago

 Mélanie Laurent / Sommelier, Pro (France)  tasted  2 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  10 wines 

The Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne 2014 surprises with its intense garnet color, alive and beautiful. As it ages, it will slowly fade in intensity and gain subtle orange-brick hues. The scent, broad and persistent, first shows fruit notes of wild strawberry and raspberry, then floral notes including wild flowers and dried roses. The spice aromas of cinnamon and star anise emerge at the finish. With time we expect secondary and tertiary aromas and flavors to evolve, such as elegant vanilla notes and then dried mushrooms, leather, tar and, perhaps, truffles. The flavor is rich and intense, with youthful expressiveness in the tannin and acidity. Time will bring greater harmony, resulting in a more complex and balanced wine. It is a young, solid and promising Barolo, borne of an ancient process which combines knowledge of the territory with the ability of the various characters of each vineyard site to meld into a harmonious whole.

2y 2m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Luciano Sandrone . In a tasting of  18 wines 

"New Italy" tasting with superb wines like from great vintage 2004 Masseto, Redigaffi, Messorio, Galatrona, Scrio etc.

3y 4m ago

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