From the Wine Shop
AR.PE.PE., Valtellina Superiore Riserva, “Rocce Rosse” Lombardy, Italy 2002 (750mL)
The “cult wine” category has largely been co-opted by Napa and Bordeaux producers making luxuriously oaked, extravagantly priced reds. Today's 19-year-old gem is none of those things, but it has a rabid cult following nonetheless: Working out of a cellar literally chiseled from rock in Northern Italy's Valtellina region, AR.PE.PE. has won every accolade imaginable by drawing on an impressive library of well-aged wines and re-defining the potential of Nebbiolo. This is a long way from Barolo, literally and stylistically, but the wines of Valtellina share something important with their Piedmontese cousins: longevity. Remarkable finesse and ethereal perfume define this breathtaking 2002, which is even more breathtaking when you learn its exceedingly modest price. Like the Grand Crus of Burgundy or Champagne, a handful of top vineyards in the Valtellina have been elevated above the rest with a “Superiore” classification. One such site is Sassella, the source of this “Rocce Rosse” Riserva. This is AR.PE.PE.’s most prized old-vine parcel in the Sassella cru, totaling a mere four hectares, and they treat it with extreme deference/patience in the cellar. And yet, even after four years of slow evolution in large barrels and a dozen more in bottle, this reference-point red is just now entering its peak drinking window.
- SoilRed Granite
- Oak50HL Barrels
- Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
- GlasswareBurgundy Stem
- Decanting60 Minutes
- PairingTagliatelle w/ Pesto & Bresaola
Through the grapevine
Get the sommelier experience delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to stay up to date with Daily Offers, news, and more from SommSelect.