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Luciano Sandrone

Alongside the highly sought-after Barolos of Giacomo Conterno sit the prized vintage Barolo of Luciano Sandrone. For the past twenty years, these have been among the elite wines of Piemonte. Luciano is a master winemaker with holdings in some of the most legendary plots in Barolo, including Cannubi Boschis.

Since he was a teen, Luciano Sandrone wanted to be a winemaker. He began his career as a cellar-man working in the historic Marchesi di Barolo estate, saving his money until he could afford to buy his first parcel of land in Cannubi Boschis in 1977. Because he cleaned out his savings to buy this land, Sandrone made his wines at home in his parents' garage, quietly working and revising his techniques until he caught the wine world's attention in 1989 and 1990 with great critical attention. Since then, nothing has slowed down for Sandrone, and it would seem that neither he nor his fans would want it to.

Like Paolo Scavino, Luciano Sandrone straddles the line between traditional and modernist Barolo maker. Sandrone employs extreme green harvests to produce restricted yields, uses only wild yeasts in fermentation, and sometimes employs extended maceration. On the other hand, he also employs some new oak, ages his wines less time than tradition dictates, and he uses 500-liter French barrels, bigger than barriques but smaller than botti. It's a mixture of styles and traditions that serve Sandrone well; his wines are prized for their drinkability, high quality, and scarcity.

Luciano Sandrone's boutique-style winery with choice plot locations produces some of the richest, most polished Barolos in the region. Sandrone makes about 25,000 bottles of Barolo a year, which is a very limited production indeed. Add that scarcity to the feverish popularity of these Barolos around the world, and you've got a wine that sells out before it even crosses the thresholds of a wine-seller's door. Simply put, Sandrone's Barolo embodies a blazing image of what it means to be valuable.