The 2014 Barolo Le Vigne once again shows the wisdom of blending fruit from different sites. If there is a vintage where blending has the potential to be the difference-maker, 2014 is it. So it is hardly surprising to find the 2014 Le Vigne in such great shape. The red cherry jam, mint, cedar and floral notes are all finely sketched. Medium in body and classy, the 2014 is beautifully textured and inviting from start to finish. All the elements are simply in the right place. Vineyard sources are Merli, Vignane, Villero and Baudana. (AG)
Beautiful aromas of licorice, tar and black cherries following through to a full body. A powerful palate with dense fruit. Chewy and intense. Needs two or three years to soften. A triumph for the vintage.
Red berry, dried rose petal, exotic spice, menthol and a whiff of underbrush take shape in the glass. On the youthfully tense but focused palate, taut refined tannins and vibrant acidity frame raspberry, strawberry, star anise and a hint of espresso. It's already delicious but this shows wonderful aging potential, so hold for even more complexity. *Cellar Selection* (KO)
Luciano Sandrone and his daughter Barbara tell me that the 2014 harvest needs explaining. Many are quick to dismiss it given the difficulties of the growing season that saw abundant rain, hail and bombe d'acqua, or "water bombs," which are a dangerous phenomenon with intense rainfall in a very small radius. But hard work does pay off. The Sandrone family employed 38 people for farming, when the average harvest requires only 22 pairs of vineyard hands. Great care was required to keep the leaves and the clusters healthy. The 2014 Barolo le Vigne is bright and fruit-forward. It is perhaps more accessible in the near term compared to past editions. It delivers dark fruit nuances over a mid-weight and compact mouthfeel. (ML)
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