Sandrone’s Barolo Cannubi Boschis wordt gekweekt in een specifiek deel van de Cannubi-heuvel. Cannubi strekt zich uit ten noorden van het dorp Barolo en is al minstens een eeuw geplant aan Nebbiolo op de zuid- en oostkant. Het loopt ongeveer zuidwest-noordoost en ligt volledig binnen de gemeente Barolo, van waaruit het de kenmerken van wijnen uit dit dorp vertoont: diepe aromatische complexiteit en relatief zachtere tannines in vergelijking met wijnstokken die in Monforte of Serralunga worden verbouwd. De “Boschis”-subzone van de Cannubi (ook historisch bekend als Mon Ghisolfo) ligt aan de noordkant van de heuvel en ligt direct tegenover de kleine vallei van het Sandrone-wijnmakerij gebouw. De subzone van Cannubi Boschis heeft een bijzonder goede blootstelling aan het zuiden en zuidoosten in een kleine kom of “Conca” die helpt om de warmte in de vroege ochtend vast te houden. De bodems zijn zeeafzettingen van kalkhoudende klei, niet erg diep, met een goede afwatering.
Luciano Sandrone: Barolo Cannubi Boschis 1985-2001
From his first vintage in 1978 Luciano Sandrone set out to make a more approachable and drinkable Barolo. No one has managed to bridge tradition and innovation as brilliantly as Sandrone, rendering pointless any of the typical arguments in favor of one winemaking philosophy versus the other. Over the years Sandrone has turned out a stunning group of wines, often reaching stratospheric heights. Although Sandrone’s wines are accessible when young, they also age beautifully as is demonstrated by the wines from the 1980s. Yet as magical as the older wines can be, Sandrone believes his recent releases are even better, saying “today we know so much more about how to work in the vineyards and in the cellar.” I consider Luciano Sandrone’s Cannubi Boschis to be one of a handful of benchmark wines for the region, well worth the effort of finding and cellaring.
Sandrone is one the most meticulous producers I have ever met. He tends to his vineyards and winery with extraordinary passion and precision. Sandrone’s plots are in the Cannubi Boschis (also known as Monghisolfo) vineyard, a seven hectare stretch which lies on the same hillside as Cannubi. As I wrote in Issue 2, the estate’s holdings are divided into three sub-plots that have slightly different characteristics, and are therefore harvested and vinified separately. The mostly south-facing plots and this producer’s preference for very low yields result in rich, concentrated wines that represent contemporary Barolo at its very best.
In hot vintages, Sandrone’s Barolo drinks well upon release, while in fresher vintages this Barolo seems to start hitting its stride around age 10. In general, I find the wines from the more classic vintages show greater complexity in both the aromas and flavors, as well as possessing more length, freshness, and better overall balance. One of the interesting aspects of doing a vertical like this is observing which wines keep the attention of tasters more than others. While wines like the 1997 and 2000 are no doubt beautiful, they are also wines of less complexity that can be understood immediately, with a minimum of fuss. The 1996, 1999, and 2001 are great wines because they show much more precision and delineation in the flavors, along with significant evolution in the glass, which invites you to come back to the wines time and again. Sandrone adds “I tend to prefer the fresher, classic vintages because the wines have much more typicity of Nebbiolo, although I do prefer my 1990 to the 1989.”
2001 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis – The 2001 is one of the standouts of the vintage. Utterly convincing, it shows a very spiced nose, with nuances of menthol and flowers with terrific length on the palate. Layered flavors of rich dark cherry fruit, tar and licorice gradually emerge from the glass and complete this magnificent effort. This should start to drink well around age 8-10 and last for at least another decade. 95+ points/drink now-, tasted 05/05