About This Wine
Sandrone's inky, layered Barbera is drawn from three sites; the Cascina Pe Mol, as well as Merli and Rocche di San Nicola (in Novello). At between 1200-1500 feet, these are some of the highest, most exposed vineyards in the region. As per the Dolcetto, Sandrone runs some of the region's finest sites for this variety and does so organically. Merli is a south-southwest facing bowl that catches the afternoon light perfectly, its wines bring earthy and robust depth and good aromatic complexity. Rocche di San Nicola is an extremely steep vineyard at the very end of the Novello promontory, its sun catching location helping to deliver ripeness and texture to balance Barbera's natural acidity. To bring the structure for which this wine is noted Sandrone mature their Barbera in 500 litre casks, 40% of which were new. The estate has special, untoasted barrels made (in Burgundy) for this cuvee, so as to ensure the wood is very discrete. 2016 is a more delicate year for the Barbera (than say, 2012 or 2013). This is all class with fine, aromatic blueberry and red cherry fruit and subtle cedar notes.
Wines of Piedmont
In the North-Western corner of Italy, with a backdrop of the visually stunning Alps, Piedmont is a great place to visit for wine tourism. It is also home to some of the most sought-after wines in the country.
Nebbiolo is the region’s most prestigious grape variety, a red variety not seen much in Australia. Wines made from this grape are powerful with remarkably high levels of tannins but a balancing acidity. The Piedmont region offers the grapes with a reliable autumn fog that provides a cooling effect which is particularly beneficial to the growth of Nebbiolo. This pre-harvest fog (“nebbia” in Italian) is actually where the grape’s name comes from. The fog is vital in that it prolongs the time spent on the vine and allows the grapes to achieve full ripeness.
The most famous examples of Nebbiolo come from the appellations (subregions) of Barolo and Barbaresco, known for their ability to age well, firm tannins and distinct smell of tar and roses. Barolo is a big tannic expression of Nebbiolo, while Barbaresco only about 15km away makes a more elegant style. Barolo wines are generally the more expensive of the two and are known to cellar for decades.
By volume however, Barbera is the most planted red grape in Piedmont. This grape makes a juicy, low tannin but high acidity easy-going red. Perhaps somewhat like a lighter style Shiraz.
While there are quite a few white varieties planted in the region, the most notable is Moscato d’Asti, made in a sparkling style in the Asti subregion.