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AR.PE.PE., ‘Sassella Stella Retica’ Valtellina Superiore 2015

Regular price
$70.00 USD
Regular price
Sale price
$70.00 USD

Region: Valtellina, Lombardia, Italy

Varietal: 100% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo)

Tasting notes: 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.

Producer: Tucked in between the Orobic and Retic Alps just south of the Italian-Swiss border, you’ll find the terraced vineyards of ARPEPE. At the helm of this storied estate, located in the Grumello subzone of Valtellina in Lombardy, is the fifth generation of the Pelizzatti Perego family. The roots of this blue-chip estate go back to the 1860s, when the current generation’s great-great-grandfather Giovanni founded a successful winery in the area, then known only as “Pelizzatti.” Over 150 years of history have passed since then, including the dark days of the 1970s during which the current generation’s grandfather fell ill, and the family was forced to sell the Pelizzatti brand along with some of their vineyards. The more recent history of the estate is an almost deus-ex-machina turn of events: the family re-founded their company under the ARPEPE label in 1984, got back many of their proprietary vineyards from renters, and were able to reclaim their cellar in Grumello. Today, ARPEPE is widely recognized as the single best producer in the appellation (as well as a benchmark producer of Nebbiolo in general).

Vineyard and Winemaking: The manual work in the vineyard, following the natural rhythms of Nebbiolo from the Alps, and the right waiting time for ageing in the cellar, are two simple concepts that form the basis of ARPEPE’s production philosophy. The idea is to preserve the unique aromatic properties of the grapes and to transfer them intact to the bottle, adopting a process that is as respectful as possible of the earth and of those who work it. The Vineyards are located in Sassella, Grumello and Inferno, in the heart of the Valtellina Superiore DOCG area. Production is completely by hand, as are all plant protection processes.