Ascesa Valtellina Superiore DOCG
Valtellina is a remote alpine valley in Italy on the border of Switzerland. Tiny, south facing terraces at altitudes exceeding 1,300 feet are the perfect home for Nebbiolo (locally called Chiavennasca). Vines in this steep terrain are older than 50 years. The Superiore has been aged for one year in oak and one year in bottle before release.
Valtellina Superiore DOCG
Grumello and Sasella
Still, dry red wine
Granite and schist topsoil over rock
Fermented in steel, 12 days of maceration.
Aged 1 year in oak (15% new), then one year in bottle
Up to 20 years
The Ascesa Valtellina Superiore is pale garnet, with a faint orange edge.
Raspberry, red cherry, coriander, forest floor, truffle. Tobacco, milk chocolate, potpourri, red licorice, clove, wood ear, strawberries and cream, vanilla.
Milk chocolate in mouth, velvety, smoother rounder than Rosso.
Charcuterie, roast tenderloin, pizza, bolognese, bresaola.
Why We Love This Wine
The Ascesa Valtellina Superiore is a blend of two vineyards from the Sasella and Grumello sub-regions, grown at altitudes exceeding 1300 feet. These mountain elevations can be destructive to the growing season, but Fabrizio Testa is able to ripen the fruit to perfection. Although vines have been planted on these slopes since at least the 5th century, Valtellina's most prophetic grape, Nebbiolo (locally called Chiavennasca), was not planted until the early 1800's. This is one of the few places outside of Piemonte where Nebbiolo performs well, and the wines are typically lighter in style.
The Superiore has beautiful aromas of plum, coriander, wood ear mushroom, strawberry and clove. With the introduction of oak (15% new), we see the effect that barrels and time have on a wine. It puts on pounds of muscle yet softens the wine at the same time. It’s all about texture. It has a milk chocolate flavor in the mouth, which finishes slightly drier with vanilla and orange pith. A great mid-weight wine that pairs with a variety of foods, but especially with Charcuterie, roast tenderloin or mushroom dishes. 100% Nebbiolo grown on terraced hillsides of thin granite and schist topsoil over solid rock. 10 barrels produced.
$45 / Bottle
About the Winery
The Ascesa wines are produced by Fabrizio Testa in the Valtellina region of northern Lombardy. Winemaking has taken Fabri from Tuscany to Sonoma and now Valtellina, where he has a chance to make wine in one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. The wine is made at the now renovated Rainoldi winery in the town of Trevisio. Two more wines; a Superiore and a Sforzato will be added next year.
Images Courtesy of Ascesa