Lombardy, Italy


Sassella Riserva Rocce Rosse 1997


Sassella Riserva Rocce Rosse 1997
Lombardy, Italy

From a single plot of fifty year old vines planted over red granite near the top of the Sassella cru at nearly five hundred metres above sea level. The wine sees a maceration of forty days in tini and rests in huge old chestnut casks for four years before bottling. Delicate and complex, with a sanguine note from the iron in the soils and a pronounced minerality, this is simply a profound wine with an uncanny sense of place.



The Perego family has been growing grapes on the granite terraces of Valtellina since 1860.

They work only with Nebbiolo, or Chiavennasca as it is called in these parts, growing the grapes up to seven hundred metres above sea level on sheer, south-facing, sunlit vines that dig straight into rock. The vines are so far north into the alps they are practically in Switzerland and the resulting fruit is intensely mineral.

Production is very much of the old-school and labour is intense, the hills making it very difficult to reach the fruit at all. Everything across their thirteen hectares of vines is done by hand and in the cantina the family exercises a soft touch with famous patience. Favouring long, gentle macerations, the wines are left to rest in large, old chestnut casks until they are deemed ready for release.

The transparency of the grape, the singular landscape and the Peregos’ gentle hand in the cantina make for wines that are up there with Italy’s greats.