Simon says he has never had a bottle of any wine produced by Luciano Sandrone that was anything other than good and invariably they are exceptional – particularly in recent vintages. For such a statement to ring true up and down the scale is not common to each and every star-studded producer. Our offer on 2010 Nebbiolo d’Alba, Valmaggiore, Luciano Sandrone below.
Sandrone may produce two remarkably fine and distinctive Barolo, namely Le Vigne and Cannubi Boschis, but they also produce a gem of a wine from the region of Roero, namely Nebbiolo d’Alba, Valmaggiore. This is a Nebbiolo produced on sandy soils from a dramatic amphitheatre of a vineyard, which does not permit any kind of mechanisation given its steepness. This is much more forward than a Barolo, lighter and accessible at a young age. In great vintages, however, it delivers more than this with greater elegance and greater depth. A skilled winemaker can bring out a little extra from perhaps a lesser-rated vineyard area and that is very much the case in this instance.
While our collective appreciation of the wines of Piemonte in general is at an all-time high, Sandrone’s wines occupy a particularly lofty position in the hierarchy. His wines are defined by exceptional purity and elegance, backed by ripeness of fruit. His Barolo rank among the best in the region and his Valmaggiore, his sole vineyard holding outside of Barolo, must be one of the highest quality Nebbiolo d’Alba by anyone’s reckoning.
As far as great vintages go, few can rival 2010 in Piemonte (although 2013 is considered on a par, and 2015/2016 show serious potential). Jancis Robinson defines the vintage as “outstanding: a classic vintage with plenty of acidity, firm but ripe tannins and near-perfect balance in many wines”. There is no doubt that it ranks among the region’s very best vintages and many entry level Nebbiolo from this vintage are now starting to drink well, delivering on their early potential. We always considered there to be great value on show with the 2010 Valmaggiore.
Sandrone cleverly hold back stock until it reaches a degree of maturity before releasing their Nebbiolo d’Alba onto the market. We have been lucky enough to access a library release of the 2010 Nebbiolo d'Alba, ‘Valmaggiore’ from Sandrone, conveniently packaged in three bottles cases. Recently, Antonio Galloni tasted this vintage - in fact just four months ago - and remarked that it is in the early stages of a ten-year drinking window but that it is ‘in a great spot today to offer fine drinking.’ His full note is below.
2010 Nebbiolo d’Alba, Valmaggiore, Luciano Sandrone
93 points, Antonio Galloni
£80 per 3 bottle case in bond
The 2010 Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore shows just how expressive and pure the vintage is. A wine of precision, depth and weightless elegance, the 2010 simply has it all. Sweet red cherry, raspberry, wild flowers are beautifully delineated. The 2010 is translucent, expressive and in a great spot today to offer fine drinking. (Drink 2016-2026)
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