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ALESTE is the natural continuity of Luciano's first wine, the Barolo Cannubi Boschis, which garnered Luciano his early acclaim with the international trade and press. 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.
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.
The vineyard is one the great cru sites in Barolo, synonymous with richness and complexity. Sandrone's Barolo Cannubi Boschis is grown in a specific sub-section of the Cannubi hill. Cannubi extends north from the village of Barolo and has been planted to Nebbiolo on its south and east exposures for at least a century. It runs approximately southwest-northeast and is entirely inside the commune of Barolo, from which it displays the characteristics of wines from this village: profound aromatic complexity and comparatively softer tannins in relation to vines grown in Monforte or Serralunga. The “Boschis” subzone of the Cannubi (also known, historically, as Monghisolfo) is near the northern end of the hill, and is located directly across the little valley from the Sandrone winery building. The Cannubi Boschis subzone has a particularly good exposure to the south and southeast in a small bowl or “conca” that helps hold the warmth in the early morning. Its soils are sea deposits of calcareous clay, not very deep, with good drainage.
Each lot of the vineyard is vinified separately, and after destemming and light crushing, the must is covered with CO2 for a gentle warm maceration of approximately a day. Alcoholic fermentation begins about 24-36 hours later from native yeasts. A gentle maceration takes place in upright open-top steel tanks for the first 9-10 days of alcoholic fermentation. Immediately after alcoholic fermentation, which takes 28-30 days, malolactic fermentation takes place in 500 liter French oak casks. The wine is aged in these casks for 24 months, followed by 18 months bottle aging. Around 800 cases are produced in a typical vintage.
Aleste 2018 shows a more concentrated iteration of the vintage, reflecting the warm, sheltered, low altitude vines on the side of the famed Cannubi hill.
On the nose, the aromas leap from the glass, showing red and dark cherries and raspberries, with the spice notes so typical of Cannubi Boschis.
On the palate, the deeper concentration is also more closed than in its brother the Le Vigne, showing grippy, mature tannins that will require a few years to soften up and integrate fully.
The finish exhibits good freshness and long silky tannins.
Ratings for the vintage 2018
Vinous 94 points
James Suckling 94 points
Wine Spectator 94 points
Falstaff 97 Punkte
Weinwisser 18+-18.5/20 Punkte
VITAE 4 viti/94,5 punti
After the sweltering 2017 season, 2018 began with good winter snow and spring rains that helped replenish the dry ground. The wet weather continued into April, complicating the final vineyard work somewhat and resulting in a slightly later bud break.
Flowering was under normal conditions. In our growing area, the beginning of the summer was characterized by occasional downpours that led to high humidity conditions. Much care had to be taken to achieve a healthy vineyard as Peronospora ran rampant when left unchecked by regular and judicious applications of the correct treatments.
Green harvesting became necessary for nearly all varietals in order to bring fruit production to the highest possible potential quality. Judicious vineyard work was required for maximum balance and equilibrium at harvest. Development of the fruit was gradual during the summer, with temperatures rising considerably from mid-July on, and a long period of constant fine weather helped the grapes to ripen without and early harvest.
The harvest period was normal in relation to the previous, precocious vintage and quantities in general were slightly higher than had been the norm for the previous vintages.
In conclusion, we can say that it was a medium-bodied vintage in the traditional mold, which demanded the utmost attention of growers in vineyard management; significantly more hand-work in the vines was required for maximum results. In the end, the outcome was better than had been expected at the beginning of the campaign.
Harvest took place from October 10th until 18th.