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 warm-but-not hot vintage of 2018 gave us a Le Vigne Barolo of great delicacy and excellent structure. The nose is forceful but not explosive – it is balanced and open, expanding upwards in the glass with spicy notes framing black and red fruits.
On the palate, the wine is open and engaging, recalling vintages of similar climatic character such as 2012 and 2015.
The tannins are ripe, open and silky, the mouthfeel is filling without being heavy, the acidity is fresh and the finish is long with a distinct mineral note.
Ratings for the vintage 2018
Vinous 93 points
James Suckling95 points
Wine Spectator 95 points
Falstaff 96 Punkte
Weinwisser 18+/20 Punkte
VITAE 4 viti/92 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 2nd until 22nd.