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Nebbiolo or Chiavennasca?

Perhaps not as prestigious as its more famous cousins in the hills of Langhe (Piedmonte), Nebbiolo grown on the mountainous terrains of Valtellina in Lombardy can be equally captivating and alluring without burning a huge hole in one's pockets.

More commonly known as Chiavennasca in this part Italy, the "Nebbiolo" grown here are able to ripen fully in cooler climate conditions with the right winegrowers, and produce wines which are generally perfumed, light, soft in tannins while retaining a good level of acidity.

This particular Arpepe "Rocca de Piro" 2015 came from one of the five distinctive sub-zones of Valtellina called Grumello, which typically is one of the smoothest and softest of all the Chiavennasca wines made in this appellation. The wine has a bright, deep ruby red core that was somewhat muted initially but gradually opened up to reveal aromas of red cherries, dried cranberries, tea leaves, fresh hawthorn and a pinch of dried rose petals. More of a bitter cherry flavour on the palate reminiscent of spiced red fruits simmered slowly over the stove with fresh orange peel, and dotted with light earthy tones. Med to med+ acid and finish. Quite easy going and delicious to drink on its own. Smooth, gentle and almost silky.


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