From: Piemonte, Italy
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.
Taste & Critical Acclaim
RP 96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made with fruit from Cannubi Boschis, the Luciano Sandrone 2018 Barolo Aleste is plump and ripe, but this wine also shows a more delicate character that is its ace card. The aromas are filigreed and fine with dark fruit, spice and licorice. The effect is integrated, and the wine shows a lovely, softer personality to balance out this mildly concentrated expression.
JS 94 James Suckling
Dried red berries and dried flowers, almost tobacco on the nose. Citrus and minty notes add character. Medium-to full-bodied, elegant and silky palate that thickens out with fine, creamy tannins as it progresses. Super texture to this, gently coating the palate. Rather firmer just at the end for now. Really refined and elegant. Best from 2024.
WS 94 Wine Spectator
An open-knit Barolo highlighted by plum, cherry, leather and tar flavors. Supple in texture before firming up, with dusty, refined tannins lingering on the finish. This should evolve nicely with some bottle age.
WE 93 Wine Enthusiast
Fragrant purple flower, woodland berry and menthol aromas form the nose along with whiffs of spice. The elegant, medium-bodied palate offers juicy pomegranate, red currant and oak-driven spice set against an acidic backbone. Taut, fine-grained tannins leave a drying close. Drink 2025–2033.
94 points Vinous
"The 2018 Barolo Aleste is gorgeous, but also very quite today. There's terrific purity to the dark red/purplish fruit and a good bit of volume too, but readers will have to be patient. Bright acids and firm tannins lend energy. I admire the presence and texture here. The Aleste, from Cannubi Boschis, benefits from a site that can handle moisture. This is nicely done. (AG)" (11/2021)
About. Luciano Sandrone is one of the most iconic producers in Barolo, and his is both a well known and extraordinary story. He started to learn viticulture at the age of 14 or 15, and after years of work as a cellarman he depleted his life savings and purchased his first vineyard on the Cannubi hill in 1977, though he could only manage his land on the weekends while he continued to work. He made his first vintage in 1978, in the garage of his parents, and then spent years refining his ideas about how to make a wine of distinction and utmost quality that respected the traditions of Barolo while incorporating new ideas and understanding about viticulture and vinification. He made every vintage until 1999 at home, until the winery he constructed in 1998 was ready for use.
Sandrone's wines are sometimes described as straddling the modern and traditional styles in the region: elegant, attractive and easy to appreciate right from their first years in bottle, but with no less power and structure than traditional Barolos. Along with the extremely low yields in the vineyard and an obsessive attention to training, pruning and harvesting, Sandrone has a very rational approach in the cellar. This approach, however, is also unique and outside of simple classification: Sandrone subjects his wines to medium-length maceration period, shorter than traditional, but makes limited use of new oak in the maturation process, which takes place in 500 liter tonneaux, all signs of a more traditional approach in the cellar. The entire range of wines, all limited in production, are jewels of impeccably balanced concentration and precision, and the ability to age for long periods of time.
2018. Barbara Sandrone beams with pride for ’18, which draws similarities to the great ’08 and ’12 vintages. It was a challenging growing year in the vineyards, but the end of the growing season was calm, and the resulting wines are classical and fine. The suppleness of the vintage mutes some of the firm intensity we know from Sandrone, but the wines do not suffer from it. Instead, they feel alive and open, coiled with that serious, polished edge we know and admire from this resplendent family cantina.
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