Robertparker.com: Sandrone's 2006 Barolo Le Vigne possesses awesome balance as intricately woven layers of aromas and flavors come together in the glass. The 2006 is an especially powerful Le Vigne boasting a solid core of floral, red fruits supported by firm yet elegant tannins. This, too, shows the considerable drive and focus that is the hallmark of the vintage. The wine's overall balance is impeccable. Le Vigne is made from parcels in Vignane (Barolo), Conterni and Ceretta (Monforte) and Merli (Novello). The wines are aged separately for a year in 500-liter barrels. The final blend is assembled, after which the wine spends an additional year in oak prior to being bottled. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. My visit last year with Luciano and Luca Sandrone was illuminating, as I had an opportunity to taste verticals of both of the estate's Barolos spanning vintages 2005 through 2009, culminating with exceptional bottles of the 1990s, which I report on in this issue's "What About Now" feature. Sandrone's 2006 Barolos are among the unqualified successes of the 2006 harvest. The wines show more richness and density than the 2005s, but less exuberance than the 2007s, in a focused, driven style I find quite attractive.
Vineyards: Ceretta, Conterni, Merli, Vignane Technical datas The alternation of hot and cold periods characterised 2006, during the whole vegetative cycle. Summery heatwaves in May and June, with a peak of 38°C in July, led us to assume that the year would be similar to 2003; fortunately things changed from August onwards. August 2006 was the coldest of the last 5 years, with marked differences between day and night temperatures and, thankfully, some rainfall. Rain at the very beginning of September risked jeopardising the health of the grape harvest, but then the weather improved. Despite occasional excesses - the climate situation was never a major difficulty for the vines and allowed the crop to ripen superbly, with a balanced and complete accumulation of all components.
Harvest From the 3rd to the 16th October
Vinification Each lot was vinified separately. After destemming and light crushing, must is "sealed" with CO2 for gentle warm maceration of approximately a day. Alcoholic fermentation begins about 24-36 hours later from native wild yeasts only. Maceration:Gentle maceration in upright open-top steel tanks for the first 9-12 days of the alcoholic fermentation Malo-lactic Fermentation:Immediately after alcoholic fermentation in French oak casks with a capacity of 500l. Alcoholic Fermentation: 28-30 days. Aging:24 months in French oak tonneaux of 500l, followed by 18 months in bottle. Blending:During summer 2008, once the potential of every single batch of wine was certain. Bottling date: January 2009 Drink from: 2015 Drink to: 2025
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