Arpepe, Valtellina Superiore Sassella Stella Retica Riserva 2015Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
In conversation with Italian winemakers, or vignaoioli if you will, Arpepe is arguably the best of the best. Wine publications don’t seem to disagree; the awards are countless. No wonder, given the amount of work and care that must go into the vines, grown on precariously-stacked terraces on the slopes of Valtellina, two hours north of Milan toward the Swiss border. Here, at these heights, Nebbiolo is known by another name, Chiavennasca. It grows in villages that might bring to mind Rosemary’s Baby – Sassella, Grumello, Inferno! The high-altitude, cool weather climate transforms the grape into something quite different than what you might find in neighboring Piemonte. While Barolo may be king, Valtellina is a wizard.
Local dialect for “rock” comes out as Sassella, for it is here that the slopes are rockiest and steepest. The wine, spending 50+ days on skins, has a remarkable minerality. A wine that does well with age, 2010 is a good find.