ArPePe Valtellina Superiore Sassella Stella Retica 2017

ArPePe Valtellina Superiore Sassella Stella Retica 2017

ArPePe Valtellina Superiore Sassella Stella Retica 2017

Regular price $60.00
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Anyone who knows us knows that we love Nebbiolo. We think there's an argument that the grape's finest expression isn't in Barolo or Barbaresco, or even in Piedmont! In the far northern corner of Lombardy, the Tellina river flows into Lake Maggiore, but on its way it flows past the impossibly steep, stony vineyards of Valtellina. Sassella is the finest vineyard along the whole valley, and the curiously named ArPePe is the greatest domaine in the valley. Their guiding principle for farming and winemaking is patience. No shortcuts are taken in the vineyards, which makes sense when you look at the vineyards. This is not a place where tractors can help. No shortcuts are taken in the cellar either. Fermentations occur in large open vats, and ages in giant, neutral oak barrels. When it comes to bottling and release, "it takes as long as it takes". All that time and attention yields wines with unmatched delicacy and aromatic detail, and the structure is pure power without weight. If you haven't tried their wines before it's a must try, and if you're familiar with them I'm sure you know what I'm going on about.

In a vintage that saw uneven results in Piedmont, the Valtellina seemed to escape the worst of a vintage where heat and drought and hail played havoc with the grape set. This wine is absolutely beautiful, and touches every station of Nebbiolo's aromatic cross. There's a touch of tar-infused sandy earth, a bit of pipe smoke, raspberries ripe enough to fall off the bush, tiny little wild strawberries, violets, and orange peel. The palate enters the palate like a bubbling brook, precocious and bright, silky and fresh, and shows no rough edges on the way to a clean and refreshing finish. Strawberries and oranges dusted with star anise, thai cinnamon, and just the barest hint of bay leaf. This is a wine that simply sings, and while this is perfectly drinkable now, older bottles of ArPePe have proved that this wine has the ability to develop nicely for at least another decade. Just as it was made with patience, we recommend patience when it's in your cellar.

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