Grapelive: Wine of the Day December 4, 2016

2013sandronevalmaggiore2013 Luciano Sandrone, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Valmaggiore, Piedmonte Italy.
This polished and modern Nebbiolo has the Sandrone touch and textured mouth feel showing Barolo like character and elegant refinement with some flair. Not your cheapest example of Langhe Nebbiolo, that’s for sure, but certainly a pleasing wine of stylish charm, solid density and length. The Valmaggiore is from a vineyard in Vezza d’Alba, which is in the Roero zone, and is formed by the continued sandy, loamy and marl based soils of Alba as found in Barolo, it was native yeast fermented in small lots, only hand sorted de-stemmed grapes, using stainless steel open top vats with soft maceration and gentile extraction then aged in used large 500L French oak cask for 12 months before being rested in bottle for another 9 months. And even though I might go for Vajra’s Albe Barolo, Davide Rosso’s Giovanni Rosso Barolo and Oddero’s Barolo first in this price range, I really did enjoy this wine and it’s presence in the glass and would certainly recommend it for those looking to explore the Roero wines and for those that want a wine that shows it’s best younger than most, it’s also a great gateway wine to Sandrone’s top crus and with all the classic qualities that make Nebbiolo such a special grape. There’s no question the Sandrone is all about quality and finesse and this lovely 2013 Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba drinks with the grace, vibrancy and depth of a premier cru Burgundy with pretty details, light perfume, delicate mineral tone and a long persistent finish in a smooth/savvy medium bodied and satiny wine. The 2013 Sandrone Valmaggiore starts with hints of dried violets, rose oil, vanilla, porcini, leather and wild anise as well as poached plum, kirsch, raspberry and earthy tar notes along with flashes of bitter coco and balsamic dipped strawberries. I would not kick this out of my cellar, there is lots to admire here and if I’m honest there are many more true Barolo or Barbaresco that don’t deliver this kind of class for far more dollars, so in many ways it’s price could be considered a value, and I do appreciate the passion and craft behind it’s making, it’s a solid and lovely Nebbiolo, drink from 2016 to 2021.
($50 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive