Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina offers you quite an experience. Sassella is the largest of the DOCG villages in Valtellina. Sassella also has an ideal elevation and aspect for achieving perfect ripeness. Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina only releases in the best vintages where the grape skin thickness is enough to allow extended maceration. 2013 must have been a remarkable vintage as the grape harvest for Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina was on 3rd November.
Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina offers an intense garnet red colour. The nose is spicy with hints of tobacco and leather. The palate is tight but with rich fruits and citrus tangy. Persistent flavours and tannin make Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina an impressive and memorable wine. At 7 years of age, Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina has just begun its life and evolution. Leave Arpepe Sassella Nuova Regina for as long as you can stand.
A family of winegrowers for over 150 years. They are devoted to the cultivation of Nebbiolo in the unique Valtellina region of Lombardy. Although the family business sold in 1973. Arturo Pelizzatti Perego ArPePe started again in 1983. Thankfully he did too. The wines of Arpepe are without peer. And they open up wine lovers to a whole new expression of Nebbiolo.
In the central North of Italy. The Alpine regions offer long, cold growing seasons. The wines here are aromatically high-toned and elegantly styled. While there is not a lot of attention, there are exceptional wines to be enjoyed if you look. Franciacorta offers Champagne-quality Sparkling wine. Valtellina can give you Barbaresco-esque Nebbiolo.
Valtellina is an alpine valley in the far north of Lombardy and can trace it’s wine history back 2000 years. Valtellina grows Chiavennasca, which you might know as Nebbiolo. It is either an aromatic and tannic table wine. Or the Amarone-like sundried Sfursat/Sforzato. Chiavennasca must be 90% of the blend.
Five villages earnt DOCG status in 1998. They are Grumello, Inferno, Maroggia, Sassella and Valgella. Sassella is considered the best among equals.
The valley runs east-west, and the vines face south to ripen. The hills are dramatically steep, and this means work is hand rather than automation.
The Alpi Retiche IGT covers this region. It allows other grapes and less perilous vineyard sites.
They are famously producing long-lived red wines. Light of colour, but abundant in tannin. Barolo and Barbaresco are the pinnacles of Nebbiolo. But many local and international regions are catching up. Typical flavours include tar, roses, anise, cherry, blackberry and truffle.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that, volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.