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"The 2004 Barolo Le Vigne is a phenomenal effort. Sweet, long and pure, it reveals an expansive core of perfumed ripe red fruit, flowers and spices. Despite its notable concentration it is made in a restrained style, showing remarkable elegance as well as harmony, with superb length and finessed tannins on the close. Le Vigne is made from the Ceretta, Vignane, Merli and Conterni vineyards. I have tasted the wines from these plots separately on many occasions. Curiously, I have never been particularly impressed by any of the wines on their own, yet when they are blended the results can be extraordinary, as is the case with the sublime 2004 Le Vigne. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2019. Luciano Sandrone has been ecstatic about the quality of his 2004s since I first tasted the wines with him in the winter of that year. While 2004 is a superb vintage overall, Sandrone\'s wines stand out, most notably for their extraordinary elegance."
96 Points Wine Advocate
Barolo Le Vigne is often a dark and impenetrable wine in its youth. 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.
Le Vigne is a wine created from four different Nebbiolo vineyards, each of which brings its own contribution. This union generates an exceptionally complex wine that is round and harmonious on the palate, with fruity and spicy notes, and this approach of blending together plots is in fact the traditional one in Barolo.
The first vineyard, Vignane, is situated in the historical part of the Barolo appellation and shares many characteristics with Cannubi but does not possess the latter's aromatic complexity. The wines show softness and elegance, and a distinct mid-palate mouthfeel that enhances the sense of richness when combined with other, more austere grapes. The second vineyard, Merli, is located in the Novello part of the appellation, with the Sandrone section in a south-southwest facing bowl that captures the afternoon light perfectly. The wines made from here are earthy and robust but with good aromatic complexity. The third vineyard, Baudana, is located in Serralunga d'Alba. The 2011 vintage marks the first time that Luciano Sandrone has included fruit from a fourth vineyard, Villero, a 3.7 acre plot in Castiglione Falletto, which they recently acquired via a long-term lease.
Each 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 9-15 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 1,300 cases are produced in a typical vintage.
Ancient art. Le Vigne Barolo interprets the ancient handed-down wisdom and tradition of Langhe and Barolo of assembling the Nebbiolo grapes from various vineyards. We interpret this historic practice by working only with indigenous yeasts and by keeping the grapes of each vineyard separated during the fermentation and wood ageing, rather than combining them during fermentation.
A perfect diagonal. We meticulously selected four vineyards so as to bring out all the characteristics of the Barolo area. The vineyards of Baudana in Serralunga d'Alba, Villero in Castiglione Falletto, Vignane in Barolo and Merli in Novello form a perfect diagonal across the area which encompasses different terrains: light and sandy, more compact and deep, and all at different altitudes and exposures.
Every year is a new discovery.Harvested, vinified and aged separately, only the best lots are mixed together during the assemblage so as to express the uniqueness of the vineyards and enhance the particularities of each vintage.
The precipitation in autumn 2003 and at the beginning of 2004 regenerated water reserves, which had been reduced the previous hot and dry year. Abundant rainfall in spring and below average temperatures delayed budding. Subsequently mild temperatures allowed for balanced vegetative development and, at the end of August, the harvest looked set to be 8-10 days earlier than usual.
The warm sunny weather during September and much of October meant that grapes ripened perfectly: healthy with analytical parameters that far exceeded every expectation.
Harvest was from the 19th of October (Ceretta) to the 4th of November (Vignane). The maceration was 8 to 9 days in stainless steel, followed by 25 days alcoholic fermentation. The Malolactic lasted until the end of 2004, taking place in French Liter French oak barrels. Blending occurred in the summer of 2006, once the final quality potential of every lot could be determined.
Maturation occurred for 24 months in the barrels from Malolactic Fermentation, and the wine then aged in bottle for a further 18 months.
18,000 bottles were produced, 700 magnums, and 90 double magnums.