Lombardy, Italy

Arpepe

Sassella Stella Retica 2019

£43

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ARPEPE
Sassella Stella Retica 2019
Lombardia, Italy

Grapes here are taken from vines over fifty years old planted in the rocky upper reaches of the Sassella cru, some 400-550 metres above sea level. ‘Sassella’ in local dialect means rock and this is the part of the valley where the terraces are at their steepest and shallowest. The wine spends four months on its skins in tini and a year in old acacia and chestnut botti before bottling. A vertical, profoundly mineral take on Nebbiolo.

Nebbiolo


ABOUT THE PRODUCER

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.