Ar Pe Pe 2007 Sassella Riserva Rocce Rosse Valtellina Superiore
Admittedly the wines of Ar Pe Pe have eluded me for some time, we haven’t pursued them very hard, truthfully I didn’t know what I was missing out on- You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know…You Know? Then the distributor for Ar Pe Pe came calling and announced he had something very special in the bag, the Sassella Rocce Rosse Riserva, which was named Gambero Rosso Wine of the Year in 2017. I was stunned, I know I have written about the Nebbiolo phenomenon before, only about 5 or 6 years ago I didn’t really get Nebbiolo, many people I trust and respect seemed to love it, but it never clicked for me, so I set out to learn more, much of the focus of my tastings and reading was on Barbaresco and Barolo. But Alto Piemonte was also worth exploring and I have been thrilled with some Gattinara and Carema along with a Piane that blew my mind.
Well I have felt that I have graduated somewhat as I have seen the light about Nebbiolo and then along came this wine. A really stunner, the red rocks and is all I could think about, granite, granite, granite. Much like Syrah from the great slopes of the Northern Rhone this wine has incredible structure, and a core of tension that mountain grown fruit always seems to have. The wine is simply stunning, you have to spend some time with the glass to see it all, the earth and structure dominate the initial aromas, but with some coaxing this wine reveals what it’s got, which is an awful lot. Drink now if you can decant and give it some air, but you can also save this for a couple of decades.
“Rosso dell’Anno & Tre Bicchieri Gambero Rosso 2018” – Gambero Rosso October 22, 2017 “Intoxicating scents of smoke, flint, dried mountain herb and woodland berry are just some of the multifaceted aromas you’ll find on this dazzling Nebbiolo. It’s extremely elegant, with a weightless intensity, delivering Marasca cherry, crushed strawberry, white pepper and tobacco framed in fine tannins. Vibrant acidity gives it impeccable balance while a flinty mineral vein energizes the finish. Some may find this almost too ethereal while lovers of finesse, complexity and balance will be enchanted. Drink through 2027. 98 points.” Wine Enthusiast