Arpepe Valtellina Superiore "Sassella - Rocce Rosse" Riserva 2016

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These special wines are only produced in truly exceptional growing seasons, and in the last 15 years, there have only been five: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2016. Arpepe thinks of a Riserva vintage when the skins of Chiavennasca - the local name for Nebbiolo - are thick enough to allow longer macerations and ageing time in botti. Emanuele reckons a good delta in temperature between day and night closer to vintage, is crucial for achieving this desired result, in addition to bring out the complex flavors and aromas of this grape. In Riserva vintages, the different crus from each subzone (Grumello, Inferno, Sassella) are vinified and released separately, highlighting the unique qualities of each. In non-Riserva years, all the crus of each subzone are blended together into one label: Rocca De Piro for Grumello and Stella Retica for Sassella. Arpepe's Sassella has three crus: Rocce Rosse, characterized by little topsoil on high iron content schist and granite; Nuova Regina, with the smallest terraces of Sassella and less iron, and Ultimi Raggi, the highest part of Sassella sitting at 600m above sea level and late harvested for this reason (the old way of making Sfursat). 

"Magnificent perfume here. From nose to tail, this wine has it all. So finely wrought, with impeccable balance, dried flowers, raspberry and cherry, all the spice, extreme ‘mineral’ character to acidity and tightly wound tannin, such tension and freshness, with a superb long finish. Quiet succulence. Extraordinary." - 97 Points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front 

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