Ar.Pe.Pe. – mountain Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo, it’s not just for Piedmont! Well, actually it is just for Piedmont (think: Barolo, Barbaresco) since there are so few examples of the grape outside the region. But consider this example from Valtellina, in the adjacent region of Lombardy, slammed up against the alps and Switzerland.

Perched at about 4,200 ft altitude, the vineyards of producer Ar.Pe.Pe. are so steep that the grapes are harvested by a sort of modified ski gondola! And their steepness so rivals Hermitage that they also have signs in the vineyards in between terraces! It sounds outrageously cool and I am putting this on my list of places to visit. Fortunately, we can taste the fruits of these vineyards in the US today.

Ar.Pe.Pe.–an abbreviation for Arturo Pelizzatti Perego, pronounced “are pay pay”–provides a tasty treat with its Rosso Valtellina, 100% Nebbiolo fermented in stainless steel with brief aging in old oak barrels. The traditional producer makes more expensive, longer-aged reds, but this entry-level wine is ready to drink. I threw it in a decanter just for laffs, served it at 55 degrees and the transparent, light red color was appetizing in and of itself on a summer evening. Delicate fruit, stoniness, and the alluring slight bitterness of Nebbiolo, combine to make this wine (about $30) a stunner.

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6 Responses to “Ar.Pe.Pe. – mountain Nebbiolo”

  1. Thank you Tyler! See you in Valtellina?

  2. Tyler, what a great summer refresher suggestion. My guests love your recommendations. Is the wine difficult to find? Thank you

  3. It would be fun, Guido!

    Carole – thanks for the kind words. As you can imagine, this mountain nebbiolo is not produced in large quantities–I think the estate has 10 hectares of low-yielding vines–so it is not exactly at the local Safeway. Here’s a link to search on wine-searcher. (I bought it at Astor a week or so ago.)

  4. Remember that nebbiolo is called chiavennasca in the Valtellina. Definitely worth the trip!

  5. […] Ar.Pe.Pe. – mountain Nebbiolo. […]

  6. […] our case, we went ahead and indulged in some Ar. Pe Pe, a 2009 Nebbiolo from the vertiginous slopes of Valtellina (find this wine). I poured the wine in […]


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