Rainoldi Sassella Valtellina Superiore 2006
I like to think about harmony in wine as I do about harmony in music: a super-connection of relaxations and tensions that manage to stay balanced in a way that’s pleasing to the senses.
And, Rainoldi’s Sassella Valtellina Superiore 2006, I’ve found, is a wine that is, first and foremost, one of harmony.
Rainoldi is based in Lombardy’s famous Valtellina, a great Nebbiolo terroir and the northernmost wine region of Lombardy. Here, Nebbiolo, known locally as Chiavennasca, is cultivated predominately by hand on steep slopes where mechanization is nearly impossible.
Rainoldi makes its Sassella from 100% Nebbiolo, grown in the rocky, sandy soil of high altitude vineyards, approximately 250 – 550m altitude, with southern exposure.
The wine matures for close to two years in Slavonian oak followed by refinement in bottle for at least 1 year before being released to market.
Tasting Notes / Impressions:
A magnificently interwoven spectrum of aromatics and flavors – cherry, orange peel, herb, plum, anise and smoke – resolves beautifully into the wine’s structure. Moderate tannins with good grip and a long finish showing a mature smoothness. Harmonic and balanced, an astounding value for money.
Food Pairing Suggestions:
I find this wine works well with dishes enriched with cream, butter, and / or cheese… hearty courses – with or without meat – of soups, risotto, pasta and polenta are going to pair well. For example, consider a first course of rich risotto with butter, cheese and thin slices of the cured meat called Bresaola (if you are vegetarian, substitute porcini mushrooms for the Bresaola). Cheeses like Mascarpone, Robiola, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Taleggio, Brie de Nangis, will be especially good. Of course, this wine, as you’d expect, is awesome with red meat: try a main course of veal roast with cream.