ARPEPE Valtellina Superiore Grumello Sant'Antonio Riserva 2009
Guys. Gals. EVERYONE! And I mean EVERYONE like Gary Oldman in The Professional here...this is INSANE! ARPEPE, good people! The cultiest, cooler-than-cool Lombardy legends that make some of the best, purist, most brain-rattling nebbiolos from every Italian Alpine region you’ve likely never heard of (ie; not Barolo, Barbaresco, and the like). 95 POINTS. Riserva. The perfectly aged 2009 vintage. OVER $30 OFF! Wait, did you hear that? That odd, slightly damp, clicking sound? That’s the sound of every somm, wine geek, and Italian oenophile on our list dropping their collective jaws. Fly, like you’ve never flown before...and grab some of this.
Chiavennasca. That's the grape of Valtellina – a remote region tucked up at the slopes of the Italian Alps. Sure, after it’s all said and done...it's just a local clone of nebbiolo. But that’s not the whole story! This clone has been kept isolated for over 500 years and has developed a personality all its own – uniquely adapting to the climate and soils of Valtellina. Bright, taut, and focused, this grape showcases the highest tones of luminous red cherries and red flowers, all whilst grounding the flavors with notes of truffles, tobacco, crushed rocks, and savory minerals. Drinking a bottle of this is like nothing else...and somehow, we got JUST ENOUGH to share! Ok (OKLAHOMA!), it actually isn’t enough. This won’t last long so please, PLEASE, read faster or just go grab some now and then come back...you won’t regret it! And yes, that was a Ted Lasso reference.
Grumello is a subregion of Valtellina, and home to a portion of ARPEPE’s 13 hectares of vineyards. The Sant'Antonio section of this vineyard falls next to a church of the same name, up at 450 meters in elevation. This 2009 celebrates the 40-year anniversary of Arturo and Giovanna’s marriage in this same chapel that lit the match that would change Italian wines forever...crazy long maceration (malolactic ferm on the skins too!), before resting in chestnut wood barrels, and then a long bottle aging before release. Did you get some yet? Double 95 POINTS, plus a 94 and that is just nicking the primer on this wine. Words like ‘gracious’, ‘taut’, ‘alluring’, ‘vibrant’, ‘silky’, ‘compelling’, and ‘super-expressive’ paint a bit of the picture, but still – as flattering as these reviews are – it’s still viewing Picasso’s Guernica through a keyhole. To the fastest fingers goes the transcendental elation of actually experiencing this wine! Save one for me!!!
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“The 2009 Valtellina Superiore Grumello Riserva Sant’Antonio is gracious and polishes to the core. Sweet red cherry, orange peel, mint, star anise and spice notes all lift from this super-expressive, compelling Valtellina Superiore. All the elements simpl fall into place as this gracious, alluring Valtellina red shows off its considerable pedigree. Wow!”
“Camphor, wild rose and red berry aromas mingle with botanical herb. Taut and focused, the palate has structure and precision, delivering dried cherry, blood orange, star anise and a hint of clove set against a vein of savory mineral. It's balanced, with tightly wound, fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity.”
“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.”
~Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
“These wines from ARPEPE (an abbreviation of founder Arturo Pelizzatti Perego’s initials) are among the most impressive I tasted… From top to bottom, the wines are deserving of serious attention. The super-traditional style will leave lovers of translucent Nebbiolo weak at the knees… Perhaps most importantly, ARPEPE shows just how pedigreed the wines of Valtellina can be.”—Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The Valtellina Superiore Grumello Riserva Sant'Antonio DOCG is emancipated in the long macerations and malolactic fermentations in contact with the skins. Pampered and cared for like a son of a generous and resolute mother, it grows and ages in large chestnut barrels. Like the church of Sant'Antonio, Giovanna, our mother, every morning at dawn observes from the terrace of the house that the winemakers take proper care of so much wonder. In that church she decided to marry Arturo on 4 September 1969 and so, 40 years later, thanks to the fantastic 2009 harvest, we celebrate the anniversary with the birth of a wine educated in waiting, a virtuoso who knows when the right time to leave is solo.
- Country: Italy
- Region: Lombardy
- Appellation: Valtellina Superiore
- Varietal: Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) 100%
- Farming: Sustainable
- Alcohol: 14.00%
About The Producer
Tucked in between the Orobic and Retic Alps just south of the Italian-Swiss border, you’ll find the terraced vineyards of ARPEPE. At the helm of this storied estate, located in the Grumello subzone of Valtellina in Lombardy, is the fifth generation of the Pelizzatti Perego family. The roots of this blue-chip estate go back to the 1860s, when the current generation’s great-great-grandfather Giovanni founded a successful winery in the area, then known only as “Pelizzatti.”
Over 150 years of history have passed since then, including the dark days of the 1970s during which the current generation’s grandfather fell ill, and the family was forced to sell the Pelizzatti brand along with some of their vineyards. The more recent history of the estate is an almost deus-ex-machina turn of events: the family re-founded their company under the ARPEPE label in 1984, got back many of their proprietary vineyards from renters, and were able to reclaim their cellar in Grumello. Today, ARPEPE is widely recognized as the single best producer in the appellation (as well as a benchmark producer of Nebbiolo in general) and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to the Skurnik Wines portfolio!
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