Following our time with Barbara and Alessia Sandrone in Singapore, and following our launch of their outstanding 2019 Barolos, I wanted to share this under-the-radar gem with you. During our time in Asia, we tasted through all the Sandrone wines currently in Vinum’s cellar. One of the great surprises was just how good the 2020 Barbera is for current drinking, it’s hitting maturity and is lip-smackingly delicious!
The Barbera grape often plays second fiddle to Barolo’s Nebbiolo but this is a great shame. A characterful variety, Barbera is a brilliant food wine that is ideal with pizza or pasta with tomato sauce. As the picture below shows we also took a bottle for a test drive with local food at the Tiong Bahru hawker centre where it more than stood up to some chilli heat!
Barbera is known for its vibrant acidity, which is why it’s so good with food. The Sandrone version has a touch of oak that fills out the mid-palate, balances the acidity, and brings some extra spice complexity. 2020 was a warm vintage, which amplifies the wine’s fruit, generosity and richness so it also drinks well without food.
We would normally sell through the current vintage on release, so we rarely get to taste Sandrone Barbera with a couple of years on it. Age has mellowed this to a delicious sip whose quality belies the modest price. This is a great wine to have on-hand for those impromptu guests, casual Christmas drinks or parties. Do let us know if you’d like a case or two to re-stock your seasonal wine rack.
Matthew Hemming MW
Offered subject to remaining unsold. Immediately available from our Singapore cellars.
Barbera d’Alba 2020 Sandrone
30 cases (x6) OC @ $300 per case (inc GST $327)
Initially the aroma is slightly reserved but, from the first sip, this is beautifully balanced on the palate. Seamless texture and glossy, silky tannin. Wood gives a gentle addition to the texture but is almost totally subsumed. There’s spicy complexity through the mid-palate, with plump and juicy fruit, and peppery notes on the finish.
92/100 – Matthew Hemming MW
The 2020 Barbera d’Alba is another wine that shows the greater refinement at Sandrone these days. Even so, there’s plenty of richness in the ripe red cherry, plum, mocha and spice flavors. Soft, silky contours wrap it all together, with a gentle kiss of oak that lingers. The 2020 is an absolute delight.
93/100 – Antonio Galloni
This is a terrific value wine. Darkly saturated and rich, the 2020 Barbera d’Alba is packed tight with dark blackberry and plum. This hot-vintage Barbera is lovely to pair with grilled meats or easy chicken recipes. This is a luscious, generous wine from Piedmont.
93/100 – Monica Larner