New Releases from Ar. Pe. Pe
AR. Pe. Pe. is one of those wines that I often forget for it's greatness., until someone is generous enough to open them. And how thankful I am. The illustrious Nebbiolo grape continues to amaze me in all it's different manifestations. Like many others, I originally discovered this illustrious and majestic grape through the great Barolo and Barbaresco regions, but overtime, have branched out to see just how unique and versatile it could be.
For today, we are in a completely different area called Lombardy and the DOCG of Valtellina. I can safely say that Lombardy is the least known and most mysterious of the 20 Italian regions and Valtellina even more so. It is hard to generalize, but the Nebbiolo is more mountainous, herbal and game driven, but again, there are always exceptions.
For a better understanding check out this great blog post here. Wine Spectator did a small piece and our own Eric Asmov has written a nice expose.
Rosso di Valtellina: DOC established in 1968. Wine must be 90% Nebbiolo
Districts within Valtellina:
These are not cheap wines, but compared to Barolo and Barbaresco, quite the bargain as they can age for the same if not longer (depending on the producer) and reach equal amazement with proper age. Lucky for you, some of these are almost there!
2011 AR. Pe. Pe Grumello 'Rocca de Piro`Riserva: $54.99
Very closed with undercurrents of truffle, rose and balsamic reduction. Tart, lean and berry freshness on the palate with bright acidity.
2009 AR. Pe. Pe Grumello Sant'Antonio Riserva: $109.99
WA 94 Points: The 2009 Valtellina Superiore Riserva Grumello Sant'Antonio reveals a compact and well-delineated core of tight fruit, cassis and wild berry. I am impressed by how fine and pure those Nebbiolo (or Chiavennasca) aromas are presented in this wine from the Grumello subzone. Those delicate fruit tones are followed by flinty aromas of gravel and crushed granite. I would argue that this wine's mineral side is more pronounced compared to the other new releases from Ar. Pe. Pe. The tannins are magnificently integrated, and you are treated to a long, silky finish. Some 6,000 bottles were released. The Grumello cru is located up to 500 meters above sea level.
2007 AR. Pe. Pe Grumello 'Buon Consiglio`Riserva: $112.99
Can't believe this wine has over a decade on it. Apparent in the nose with loads of leather, stewed strawberries (don't think jammy), roses, orange oil, rhubarb and weird gravel notes. Tremendously complex but still young as hell. Berry notes galore on the palate with clean and straightforward acidity and subtle balsamic reduction that flirts and plays with interwoven minerality. Can easily age and progress for another 15 years.
2007 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella`Vigna Regina` Riserva: $109.99
96 Points Wine Enthusiast: This radiant, fragrant Nebbiolo opens with a potpourri of scents including aromatic herb, leather, cedar, pressed rose petal and dark spice. The luminous, subtle palate is loaded with finesse, delivering juicy red cherry, cinnamon, star anise, white pepper and pipe tobacco. It's impeccably balanced, with noble tannins and bright acidity. Drink now or hold for even more complexity. Drink through 2032.
2006 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella Ultima Raggi: $109.99
94 Points Vinous: The 2006 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Ultimi Raggi is superb. Dark rich and translucent the 2006 captures the essence of Nebbiolo here in Sassella. Sweet dark cherries menthol licorice game and cloves are all woven together in a fabric of pure class. Layered balsamic and nuanced the 2006 possesses remarkable power while retaining considerable finesse. All the elements are simply in the right place. Drink this suave silky Sassella over the next decade-plus. This fruit was harvested very late on November 15. The 2006 spent 12 days on the skins followed by three years in cask and cement.
2007 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella Ultima Raggi: $109.99
92.3 Points Cellar Tracker
2005 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella`Vigna Regina` Riserva: $109.99
92 Points Vinous: The 2005 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva Vigna Regina is a very pretty wine to drink today, as the tannins have softened and the flavors show a good deal of complexity. Tobacco, game, incense, iron and dark stone fruits form the backbone in an imposing, brooding Sassella. Mid-weight but slightly burly, the 2005 has enough structure and acidity to drink well for another decade plus. This is a classic Valtellina red built on an understated sense of power. Readers who enjoy firm, structured wines will find much to admire
2009 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella`Vigna Regina` Riserva: $109.99
The vines in ‘Vigna Regina’ are planted in the most shallow, rocky part of the Sassella cru. As a result, the vineyard has the reputation of producing the most linear of the family’s wines. The wine is macerated for 35+ days stainless steel and it spends five years in a combination of large-format chestnut and oak barrels (40-50 hectoliter)
2007 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella `Rocce Rosse` Riserva: $129.99
96 Points IWR: The 2007 AR.PE.PE Sassella Rocce Rosse is a simply magnificent effort. As this slowly unwinds it begins to release gorgeous aromatics that develop beautifully, as red cherries, blood orange zest, black truffle shavings and black plums all marvelously form together in the glass. On the palate this is elegant and refined, as it possesses a gorgeous silky and round texture that connects with the brilliant minerality, followed by flavors of cigar ash, black tea, black truffle and red cherry candy which add further complexity and range. This utterly captivating wine is one of the purest expressions of Nebbiolo you will find, and while it is drinking marvelously at this juncture, it should continue to evolve even further for quite some time.
2005 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella `Rocce Rosse` Riserva: $89.99
Pretty and ethereal. Dark, somewhat inky and mineral driven,. Game and tobacco on the nose with loads of other exotic findings. Loads of dark stone fruit and cherry. Burly and fuzzy with a lot of power and elegance at the same time.
2002 AR. Pe. Pe Sassella `Rocce Rosse` Riserva: $94.99
96 Points Vinous: "The 2002 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva Rocce Rosse will give readers a very good idea of how top-notch Valtellina Nebbiolo develops with age. Primary flavors are now faded into the background, replaced with a striking array of dried rose petal, lavender, mint and sweet pipe tobacco. A wine for lovers of classic, traditionally made Nebbiolo, the 2002 Rocce Rosse delivers the goods, and then some. The 2002 spent 35 days on the skins in cement, followed by 4 years in cask and cement. Don't miss it"
2011 AR. Pe. Pe Valtellina Superiore Inferno Fiamme Ant: $77.99
Gorgeous mountain aromas––wild strawberries, ripe red cherry, herbs and forest floor––with the spice only known in Valtellna wines. Fresh vibrant acid takes these components to the next level with a scrumptious yet exotic and fulfilling mouthfeel.