A blend of four small parcels, Le Vigne is Luciano Sandrone’s ode to “traditional”, or blended Barolo. All of the sites that go into Le Vigne are markedly different in terms of altitude, exposure and soil, and together they help provide a broad overview of Barolo in a given year. As with the previous release, this wine now includes fruit from four communes: Barolo (Vignane), Serralunga (Baudana), Novello (Merli) and a new source in Castiglione Falletto—the renowned Villero. Sandrone has taken a long-term lease on 1.5 hectares of this latter Cru (perhaps best-known for Bruno Giacosa’s ‘Villero’ bottlings between 1978 and 1996). The vines here average around 30 years of age, and Sandrone credits the Villero fruit as adding depth and structure to the blend. Regarding the winemaking, the wild yeast fermentation begins in tank before the malo and ageing occurs in mostly used, 500 litre French oak casks. The fruit is de-stemmed with a very high percentage of whole berries and a small percentage of whole bunches sneaking through. Maturation in cask for the 2015 lasted 26 months, followed by 18 months in bottle before release (bottled unfiltered). As the notes suggest, this is a stunning Barolo—deep yet so graceful and classy with waves of plummy, smoky, leather and rose petal scented fruit. There are perfectly balanced, powdery tannins, just a kiss of fine, cedary oak and a very long mineral close. Superb.
“The 2015 Barolo Le Vigne is a wine of pure and extreme grace. Silky and nuanced on the palate, with tremendous character, the 2015 is all class. Rose petal, mint and sweet red berry fruit are laced together in this super-expressive Barolo. Medium in body, with radiant fruit and brisk tannins, the 2015 Le Vigne is a terrific example of the vintage at its best. Today, the 2015 is decidedly reticent. I have seen Le Vigne open up with time in bottle. I imagine that will be the case here as well, although the wine is quite closed down at this stage. Vineyard sources are Baudana, Villero, Vignane and Merli.” 95+ points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“Luciano Sandrone expected this would be a beautiful year for Nebbiolo, with fruit showing the qualities of an important wine all throughout the growing season and right up to harvest. And yes, the 2015 Barolo le Vigne did turn out to be a great vintage, with a full aromatic array of perfumed rose, lavender and violet. For all of its generosity and expressiveness, with just a beautiful bouquet that sings out a seductive mezzo-soprano aria, be forewarned that in the mouth this is followed by rigidity and nervousness. That explosive bouquet might mislead you into thinking this is a rather evolved wine, but you certainly feel its youth on the palate. To be frank, this was an easy year to make wine, and it's not a big surprise that this edition of le Vigne turned out to be as classic and as good as it is. It should get even better with time.” 95+ points, Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, Issue 243