Valtellina: vines in Sassella, looking west.

Mountain Nebbiolo from the Big Cellar, and more

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We don't exactly hide our love for old Nebbiolo of all types, including these increasingly rare bottles from Carema and Valtellina. And we have two (possibly new-to-you)  wines from Valtellina to introduce, Diruppi and Le Strie; both are made with organic grapes, which is not at all common in such difficult terrain. In any case both are clear and pure expressions of mountain Nebbiolo.

 

 

 

Le Strie 2014 Rosso di Valtellina

Azienda Agricola Le Strie is a tiny property located in Valtellina, composing a little over 1 hectare of vines located in Sassella and Valgella subzones, producing around 7,500 bottles annually. The grapes are farmed organically, hand-harvested, and fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. The subsequent wine ages for about 18 months in large botti. The Le Strie Rosso di Valtellina has a wonderful nose of raspberries, red and black cherries, red plum, rose, and crushed violets. The palate is precise, at once delicate and lifted, but also carrying intensity, with soft tannins and bright acidity. With a hint of earthiness, this wine worked beautifully with a mushroom risotto.  Oskar Kostecki

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Dirupi 2017 Valtellina Rosso Ole!

Diruppi’s Ole is their least expensive wine, but it’s my current favorite of their wines for it’s typicity and freshness. It’s made with about 10 days maceration in stainless steel, and after a year’s aging is bottled unfiltered. The wine is medium-bodied with lovely bright cherry fruit and plenty of lift, ready to drink now. Jamie Wolff

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  • Organic
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Ar.Pe.Pe 2001 Valtelina Riserva Grumello Buon Consiglio

Ready to drink — ‘a punto’, says an Italian taster nearby — this is reminiscent of an elegant and refined 1989 Barolo, like Cappellano, or Conterno Cascina Francia. All of the aromatic and palate components of mature Nebbiolo are present, with aromas of stone and limestone, strawberry, spices, tar; the tannins are ripe and soft; this is an absolutely gorgeous wine, a beauty. ‘Buon Consiglio’ translates as ‘good advice’… Pay attention!

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Ar.Pe.Pe 2001 Valtelina Riserva Sassella Vigna Regina

*This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.* Ar.Pe.Pe works with longish fermentations (20-25 days) and 3 years in botte of oak and chestnut for the Riservas. The Valtellina doesn’t generally produce the intense tannin and high acid of Barolo and Barbaresco (sadly most winemakers there choose to use barriques to make up for the relatively delicate structure of Valtellina fruit), but Sassella tends to produce somewhat firmer wines. This shows a bit more structure than the Grumello, with lovely richness and velvety tannins, and a very Barolo-like presence – if your Barolo was about 25 years old. Kirsch/cherry, spices, a bit saline, with orange and iron on the finish. A real achievement and a great wine.

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