Robert Parker 96
The 2007 Barolo Le Vigne presents a beguiling combination of explosive, ripe fruit and finessed silky tannins that make it a thrilling wine to taste, even at this stage in its development. Small red berries, minerals, crushed flowers, vanillin and sweet spices are woven together in a fabric of undescribable elegance. The French oak has never been better balanced, while the vibrant, crystalline finish leaves a lasting impression. The 2007 Le Vigne has all the potential to develop into a spectacular wine?actually, it already is. This is a totally stunning bottle of Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027. Luciano Sandrone’s wines have never been more elegant than they are today. The French oak is increasingly well balanced, and the at times excessive heaviness of some prior vintages is long gone. Simply put, Luciano Sandrone is at the top of his game. Never one to be satisfied, this year Sandrone showed me a number of experimental wines, including a barrel sample of 2009 Barolo Le Vigne vinified with 100% stems, an approach that is virtually unheard of in Piedmont. Although this wine will ultimately be blended into the Barolo Le Vigne, the all-stems Barolo was huge, explosive and totally compelling. Sandrone fans have much to look forward to, as the 2008s and 2009s appear quite promising at this admittedly early stage. As for the 2007s, they are off the charts. Importer: Vintus LLC, Pleasantville, NJ tel. (914) 769-3000
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027
Bright, dark red. Dark raspberry, chocolate and coffee on the nose; smells clearly riper than the 2008. Fat, sweet and plump, with a texture of liquid velvet. Surprising acidity and substantial but smooth tannins give this very ripe Barolo excellent spine. Finishes with a note of menthol. The 2008 may be a bit longer but it’s much tighter today.