93/100 Punkte James Suckling Oct 2017 Banana, ripe blackcurrants, ivy and blackberries. Full body, round tannins, juicy fruit and a fruit-forward finish. Tightly knit tannin structure overlaid by bright fruit. Drink now.
93/100 Punkte Falstaff April 2019 Dunkles, undurchdringliches Rubinrot mit minimal aufhellendem Rand. Würzige Nase nach Zwetschkenkompott, getragen von edler Holzwürze, Schokolade, Lakritze, dann wieder Brombeere, vielschichtig. Am Gaumen ebenso würzig und schmelzig, baut sich in vielen Schichten auf, mächtig, aber auch saftig und klar, eine Fruchtbombe, sattes, langes Finale.
92/100 Punkte Robert Parker, Oct 2019 The 2016 Sicilia Adènzia is equal parts Nero d'Avola and Syrah from the heart of the Mediterranean. This is a robust and velvety-textured red wine that makes a natural pairing partner to meat or pasta with ragù. The wine speaks in clear tones with well-enunciated elements of black fruit, spice, leather and tobacco. The Syrah seems to make the biggest impact in terms of bouquet, and the Nero d'Avola guides the mid-weight nature of the palate. This wine is simple, bright and fun to drink.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 2018 The exceptional NV Adorado is a product of the past, as it's a wine that is said not to have been touched since 1967. It's a blend of the three classical grapes from Rueda#Verdejo, Palomino and Viura. There is more volatility, more intensity and pungency here, but also more finesse and depth and even more elegance. It matured in a solera system for a very long time, and initially, it must have been aged under flor yeasts. It's 16% alcohol but was originally fortified to 17%, and it's very dry and tasty. There are some 2,000 bottles of this, apparently only magnums. Wines like this are almost eternal.
93/100 Punkte James Suckling July 2019 A solera that delivers such complex and richly nutty, leathery aromas leading to a dry, minerally palate that has a very rich, layered and crisp, salty build to the finish. Drink now.
91/100 Punkte Robert Parker Dec 2019 The second wine in the price hierarchy is the 2017 Almirez, produced with vines aged 10 to 35 years old from their 72 hectares of vineyards in the villages of Valdefinjas and Toro. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels, 30% of them new, the rest second use, for 14 months. 2017 is one of the driest years with one of the earliest harvests ever, but surprisingly enough, the wines feel lighter, fresh and aromatic, expressive and open and do not show any heat. Furthermore, it feels like a fresher year in the sense that the wine integrates the oak quite well. The change here, as Marcos Eguren explained, has been in the toast of the barrels, something they started in 2015; they have lighter toasts, from a long and slow toasting of the oak, and the barrel respects the fruit a lot more. Fine-tuning continues...
93/100 Punkte James Suckling July 2019 This has a deep and dark center palate of ripe yet fresh fruit and lots of spices and smoked meat. Medium to full body. Polished and chewy tannins. Yet focused and vivid. Needs two or three years of bottle age. But all there. Try after 2021.
91/100 Punkte Vinous May 2017 Moderately saturated ruby-red; this is darker than Tedeschi's 2013 Amarone. Floral and herbal nuances complement spicy dark plum and blueberry flavors. Offers lovely balance and focus on the long, very lively finish. A blend of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and small amounts of local grapes such as Rossignola, Oseleta and others.
91/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Mar 2017 Firm tannins are tightly knit to the core of crushed blackberry, wild herb, tarry mineral and abundant spice notes in this sleek, full-bodied red. Fresh and focused, this should open nicely with air or short-term cellaring. Best from 2018 through 2027. 10,000 cases made.
92/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Feb 2017 Baked currant and fig cake notes are laced with tea leaf, wood smoke and citrus peel accents in this bright, tightly meshed red. Dense tannins provide firm structure. The lasting finish echoes a streak of spicy minerality. Drink now through 2027. 1,085 cases made.
97/100 Punkte James Suckling Oct 2016 An Amarone that shows balance, depth, and beauty. Full bodied, yet refined and ultra-fine texture. Intense finish of light chocolate, nuts and ripe berries. Goes on for minutes on the finish. A triumph. Drink now.
94/100 Punkte James Suckling There#s a surprisingly herbal note to this, reminiscent of peppercorns and bell pepper, but that only adds to the impression of dark cherries, dark plums and elderberry compote. Hints of vanilla and cloves. Round and very mouth-filling on the palate with a plethora of menthol, asphalt and tar, coating every extremity of the mouth. The finish has an ever-so-slight, sweet impression, but there#s firmness aplenty. Drink from 2023.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker, June 2016 The NV Arpège Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru is 100% Chardonnay based on 2010 (62%) and 2011 (38%), tirage in March 2012 and disgorgement in January 2015 with 4.5 grams of dosage. There is pure chalk and freshness on the nose, with white and intense fruit, as well as a yeasty Jura-like character. On the palate, this is a very complex and highly mineral Champagne with great purity, finesse, elegance and character. There is a lot of mineral grip and great complexity.
92/100 Punkte Vinous, November 2014 The NV Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Arpège is a gorgeous, sculpted Champagne built on precision. Crushed rocks, slate, green pears and citrus jump from the glass as this vibrant Champagne shows off its tense, pulsating personality. This is a gorgeous Champagne from Pascal Doquet. The Arpège is a blend of 2010 (19%), 2009 (50%) and 2008 (31%). Disgorged February 7, 2014. Dosage is 4 grams per liter.
89+/100 Punkte Robert Parker September 2017 The 2015 Oberflachs Auf der Mauer has a deep, pure, fine, licorice and dark cherry bouquet with oaky/toasty aromas. On the palate this is a charming, rich, pretty juicy and intense but rather broad and saturating Pinot Noir from a very steep, terraced, warm and dry vineyard. This is pretty rich and powerful but a less exciting Pinot Noir compared to the Rüeget.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker June 2017 The 2015 Barbera d'Alba will be released later this year in September. This is a darkly extracted expression from a warm vintage. Barbera loves the extra heat and the fruit within this wine expresses itself with cheerful abundance and intensity. One of the best characteristics of Barbera is that its acidity remains intact even in the warm years. That inherent freshness defines this wine, adding vigor and stamina to those long and luscious fruit flavors. This an extrovert wine with plump richness and succulence.
93/100 Punkte Wine Spectator, Oct 2019 Bright and juicy, this Barolo matches red berry and leafy underbrush flavors to a lightweight yet steely frame. There are flashes of green tea and iron as this rolls on through the lingering finish. Best from 2022 through 2040.
97/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 31, 2017 Formerly known as Barolo Cannubi Boschis (the last vintage by that name was 2012), the 2013 Barolo Aleste has been renamed to honor the youngest generation of the Sandrone family, Alessia and Stefano. The wine name Aleste takes the first three letters from each grandchild's name. The move represents the culmination of more than 50 harvests completed by this legendary winemaker and his desire to pass on the torch. His grandchildren are at different points in their respective viticulture and enology university studies. Now under a different name, the wine obviously shows the same delicate floral nuances that you get with this wine (fruit from Cannubi is always harvested first). This is a complete and exciting wine with delicate notes of wild berry and smoke backed by licorice and blue flower.
97+/100 Vinous Feb 2017 The 2013 Barolo Aleste is a wine of striking purity and nuance. It is also one of the most finessed, vivid young Barolos I have ever tasted from Sandrone. The translucence of Nebbiolo comes through loud and clear. Freshly cut flowers, mint and finely cut fruit are some of the signatures. This wine has developed beautifully in recent vintages as the oak influence is less than it was just a few years ago. Beams of tannin and bright, salivating acidity add finesse to this translucent, exceptional Barolo. Aleste is the new name Sandrone is using for the Barolo formerly known as Cannubi Boschis.
97/100 Punkte James Suckling Aromas of oyster shell, blackberry and black truffle follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and lots of dark fruits. Flavorful finish. Needs three our four years to open but already excellent. Drink in 2021.
96/100 Punkte Falstaff, August 2018 Funkelndes Rubin mit Granatschimmer. Feine und duftige Nase mit Noten nach reifen, dunklen Kirschen und Zwetschken, im Hintergrund nach Gewürznelken und Zimt. Feinmaschiges, geschliffenes Tannin am Gaumen, breitet sich sehr klar und geradlinig aus, saftig, langer Nachhall, nach Preiselbeeren.
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker, June 2018 This is the second year Aleste is produced instead of Cannubi Boschis, however the grapes are exactly the same. The 2014 Barolo Aleste is named after Luciano Sandrone's grandchildren Alessia and Stefano. The 2014 is still wound up and will require extra time to find its footing. The Sandrone family lost 25% of their fruit production in this challenging harvest. The wine offers fragrant notes of wild cherry and cassis with smoke, crushed stone and candied orange peel. The tannins are firm and textured. It is the palate (more than the nose) that requires more time to soften.
94/100 Punkte Wine Spectator, Mar 31, 2019 The cherry and strawberry aromas are tinged by hay and tobacco notes. On the palate, the core of fruit is joined by a chorus of herb, tobacco and underbrush flavors. Aggressively tannic now, but well-proportioned and long. Best from 2024 through 2043.
97/100 Punkte Falstaff Dezember 2016 Glänzendes, sattes Rubin mit feinem Granatschimmer. Einprägsame und dichte Nase, zeigt Noten nach Zwetschken, Granatapfel, Himbeere, dazu etwas Leder und Trüffel. Rund und geschmeidig in Ansatz und Verlauf, zeigt sich sehr ausgewogen, zunächst feine Frucht, öffnet sich dann mit festem Tannin, im Finale salzig, sehr langer Nachhall.
94/100 Punkte Robert Parker, May 2016 The 2012 Barolo Cannubi Boschis is a solid and tighter wine compared to the 2012 Le Vigne. Having said that, it veers close to being too austere and hard-bodied, especially at this young stage of its life. Of Sandrone's two new Barolo releases, this wine definitely needs more time to evolve and soften with extra years of bottle aging. The tannins are more evident and the wine's firm backbone acts to support dark fruit flavors with distant accents of spice, licorice and tobacco. The 2012 Luciano Sandrone wines are very good, but remain far from the amazing heights achieved by this historic winery in the best years. Like many of the wines from this vintage (across the various townships that make up the appellation), they are slightly less expressive and they speak at a lower volume.
94/100 Punkte Vinous, Mar 2016 The 2012 Barolo Cannubi Boschis opens with beguiling aromatics redolent of crushed rose petal, spices, mint and new leather. Wonderfully layered and nuanced, especially for the year, the 2012 offers good freshness to match its inviting, supple fruit. I would prefer to drink it sooner rather than later, while its alluring, open-knit personality is on full display. In 2012, the fruit tends towards the redder end of spectrum, unusual for Cannubi Boschis, which usually tends towards darker shades of expression. The 2012 is perfumed, lithe and super-classy from start to finish.
93/100 Punkte Wine Spectator, Oct 2019 Broad and deep, with an element of spicy new oak, this red is vibrant and full of cherry, plum and tar flavors. Dense tannins guard the finish as this plays out, echoing fruit, tar and spice accents. Best from 2022 through 2042.
95/100 Punkte James Suckling, June 2019 Very intense aromas of crushed berries and tar follow through to a full body and firm, chewy tannins that drive the wine at the finish. Needs two or three years to soften. Structured Cannubi. Drink after 2021.
97/100 Punkte Falstaff Dezember 2016 Funkelndes, intensives Rubin mit Granatrand. Klare und intensive Nase, nach reifen Kirschen, feine Brombeere, etwas Orangenkompott. Samtig und rund in Ansatz und Verlauf, baut sich in vielen Schichten auf, viel feinmaschiges Tannin, sehr geschliffen, langer Nachhall, ein Hochgenuss!
93/100 Punkte Robert Parker, May 2016 The Luciano Sandrone 2012 Barolo le Vigne shows the trademark ripeness that I so often identify in this historic product. The bouquet is round and plush with thick layers of dark cherry marmalade, blackberry preserves and dark currant. Beyond those apparent fruit aromas, Le Vigne offers dark spice and licorice with a beautiful menthol signature on the finish. The wine's natural structure is padded by soft tannins and lush fruit consistency. In all, this important wine is less vibrant and distinctive compared to other excellent vintages such as 2008 and 2010. The 2012 Luciano Sandrone wines are very good, but remain far from the amazing heights achieved by this historic winery in the best years. Like many of the wines from this vintage (across the various townships that make up the appellation), they are slightly less expressive and they speak at a lower volume.
94+/100 Punkte Vinous, Mar 2016 Sandrone's 2012 Barolo Le Vigne is fresh, delineated and totally inviting. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint, orange peel, chalk and white pepper make a strong first impression. Precise and finely sculpted throughout, Le Vigne has a bit more energy and aromatic presence than the Cannubi Boschis, and a touch better balance.
95/100 Punkte Wine Spectator Feb 2017 A hint of oak lends this a spicy component, along with cherry, licorice and tar flavors. Racy and bright, with fine intensity and a long, tightly wound finish that seems to go on forever. This shows beautiful purity and class. Best from 2020 through 2036. 380 cases imported.
96+/100 Punkte Robert Parker August 31, 2017 The 2013 Barolo le Vigne is another stellar achievement from Luciano Sandrone and his family. Since 2010, the blend for this wine has been tweaked just a bit to include more fruit from the Baudana cru in Serralunga d'Alba. This wine shows a ripe and succulent mouthfeel with ample richness and power that drives the wine smoothly over the palate. These darker qualities can be attributed to the Baudana fruit that is known for power and heft. Fruit from the Villero cru in Castiglione Falletto offers delicate perfumes and ethereal elegance. This vineyard site is home to loose, sandy soils. The combination of these two extremes is simply delightful.
98/100 Punkte Vinous Feb 2017 Sandrone's 2013 Barolo Le Vigne is a real stunner. Powerful, ample and deep, the 2013 exudes class from start to finish. The addition of Serralunga fruit in the blend has added depth and structure in all of the wine's dimensions. Dark red cherry, plum, mint, rose petal, tar and licorice build into the huge, voluptuous finish. Readers who can find the 2013 should not hesitate, as it is outrageously beautiful and also one of the clear wines of the vintage. Vineyard sites are Baudana, Villero, Vignane and Merli.
96/100 Punkte James Suckling The aromas to this young Barolo are vivid and bright with blueberry and stone character. Full body, chewy and polished tannins and a flavorful finish. Powerful and balanced. One of my favorites. Drink in 2021.
94/100 Punkte Robert Parker June 2018 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.
96/100 Punkte Vinous, February 2018 The 2014 Barolo Le Vigne once again shows the wisdom of blending fruit from different sites. If there is a vintage where blending has the potential to be the difference-maker, 2014 is it. So it is hardly surprising to find the 2014 Le Vigne in such great shape. The red cherry jam, mint, cedar and floral notes are all finely sketched. Medium in body and classy, the 2014 is beautifully textured and inviting from start to finish. All the elements are simply in the right place. Vineyard sources are Merli, Vignane, Villero and Baudana.
95/100 Punkte James Suckling, September 2018 Beautiful aromas of licorice, tar and black cherries following through to a full body. A powerful palate with dense fruit. Chewy and intense. Needs two or three years to soften. A triumph for the vintage. Drink in 2020.
93/100 Punkte James Suckling, September 2018 Dark plums, dried herbs, ink, iodine, elderberries and the faintest touch of resin. Full body, ripe yet structured tannins and a chewy finish. Drink in 2020.