Medium red. High-pitched, perfumed aromas of blackberry, raspberry, licorice and baking spices. Fairly rich and suave, but less fleshy and deep than usual for a Barolo from this superlative producer. Could use a bit more generosity. Finishes with a firm acid/tannin backbone. Sandrone reportedly made barely one-third of a normal crop from these vines in 2002.
Deep red-ruby. Very closed, extremely primary nose hints at black fruits. Impressively rich, dense and large-scaled, with great sweetness and pliancy in the middle palate. Offers outstanding palate presence without coming off as heavy. Finishes with huge, horizontal, rather muscular tannins and an austere suggestion of menthol. With time in the glass, this classy wine turned increasingly clenched on the back end. I would not be surprised to see this wine go into a shell for several years. But it may well merit a score in the mid-90s when it emerges.
Deep ruby-red. Deep, pure aromas of red and black fruits, licorice and smoky oak. Supersweet and wonderfully deep, with extremely primary dark fruit and camphor flavors. Offers compelling breadth and palate coverage, not to mention impeccable balance. Seamless and complex. Perhaps best today on the slow-building, palate-staining finish, which features extremely fine tannins. One of my early favorites from this outstanding vintage. This has fruit of steel.
($120) Medium red. Perfumed, expansive nose offers subtle red fruits, licorice, menthol and spices. Lush, sweet, full and mellow, with a dominant flavor of strawberry. Rich and seamless in the style of the vintage's best examples, without loss of definition or freshness. Finishes suave and sweet, with very fine tannins and lovely persistence.
($135) Saturated deep red. Less expressive on the nose than Le Vigne, hinting at blackberry, flowers and smoky oak. Suave on entry, then quite closed in the middle palate; less obviously lush and sweet than Le Vigne but more gripping. Then very strong on the back end, building impressively and demonstrating a serious tannic structure that transcends the vintage. Built to age. (Marc de Grazia; numerous importers, including Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY; Vin Divino, Chicago, IL; and Estate Wines Ltd., San Rafael, CA)