A Wine Afternoon In London – ArPePe Rosso di Valtellina 2012
With visits to Duck Soup and Sager + Wilde, I think it’s safe to say that I had a fun wine-filled afternoon in London last Sunday. Among the delights were Lapierre Morgon 2012 and Antinori Tignanello 1991, but it was an entry level offering from ArPePe that left the most lasting impression. I loved the ArPePe wines when I first tasted them, so I didn’t need think twice when I spotted a couple of bottles on the shelves of Noble Fine Liquor on Broadway Market.
The Rosso di Valtellina 2012 (£25) is 100% Nebbiolo (known locally as Chiavennasca) sourced from vines up to 50 years old on the lower parts of ArPePe’s parcel in the steep, sheer “Sassella” cru and from others in Grumello. Helpfully if you, like me, are a relative newcomer to Valtellina, cartographer extraordinaire Alessandro Masnaghetti has produced a map of the crus in the region so I’m sure it’ll be no time before I know my Sassella from my Grumello or Inferno.
In my limited experience, Valtellina appears to yield a more delicate, but no less nuanced, expression of Nebbiolo than the Langhe. This wine only spends 3 months in 50HL oak barrels and a further 3 months in bottle prior to release; it was delicious – fresh, floral and brimming with verve and energy (*). An absolute joy to drink.
(*) – Another interesting and exciting wine with energy from the guys at Tutto Wines. Could there be a pattern emerging here? Nerve, tension, minerality and drinkability seem to be the hallmarks of many of the wines in their Italian portfolio, and I’m on a mission to try more of them.