Ar. Pe. Pe. Sassella Stella Retica Valtellina Superiore 2015
This Riserva offers the excitement of an incorruptible youth that time cannot diminish. Long aging adds complexity without changing the typical freshness. Immediately fulfilling to the nose with an elegant bouquet of roses, cherry and cranberry, its garnet colour – of rare brightness – captures you immediately. But it’s the fresh taste, rich and persistent, which conquers the enthusiast from the very first sip. Thanks to its versatile young character it can pair well with all regional cuisine from Lombardy.
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From Sassella, one of the most celebrated villages in the greater Valtellina appellation on the northern bank of the Adda River, this is the quintessential mountain Nebbiolo. Named for the "star of the Rhaetian Alps," the Ar. Pe. Pe. 2015 Valtellina Superiore Nebbiolo Sassella Stella Retica opens slowly to reveal wild berry, cassis, smoke, tar and crushed granite. The wine is gentle and polished, wrapping smoothly over the senses. It has has ample time to soften in the bottle and is drinking beautifully right now with some Alpine cheese wedges.
Containing an exciting mix of wine producing subregions, Lombardy is Italy’s largest in size and population. Good quality Pinot noir, Bonarda and Barbera have elevated the reputation of the plains of Oltrepò Pavese. To its northeast in the Alps, Valtellina is the source of Italy’s best Nebbiolo wines outside of Piedmont. Often missed in the shadow of Prosecco, Franciacorta produces collectively Italy’s best Champagne style wines, and for the fun and less serious bubbly, find Lambrusco Mantovano around the city of Mantua. Lugana, a dry white with a devoted following, is produced to the southwest of Lake Garda.
Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo, named for the ubiquitous autumnal fog (called nebbia in Italian), is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area, as well as in the neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it reaches its highest potential in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero. Outside of Italy, growers are still very much in the experimentation stage but some success has been achieved in parts of California. Somm Secret—If you’re new to Nebbiolo, start with a charming, wallet-friendly, early-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo or Nebbiolo d'Alba.