Resting in bottle since May 2013 after having had its edges gently rounded by used oak barrels for 15 months, the 2012 Sassella has a freshness and purity given to it by its alpine surroundings. Crisp strawberry aromas lined up next to earthy and herbal side notes. You also smell and taste traditional Nebbiolo characteristics like smoky, tarry, fungal notes but in a subtler sense. It manages to deliver body and texture but in a way that gives it a sensation of lightness. But don’t be fooled, in no way is this a light wine in body. This will certainly benefit from air if you drink it soon and should go easily for a decade plus. It will stand up extremely well to harder, more aromatic cheeses as well as grilled or roasted red meats. The idea of lamb with this wine seems like a natural pairing. I had it with Siro paired with polenta made from a mixture of cornmeal and buckwheat flour from Alfio Mozzi’s (stay tuned) mother’s fields, butter from the milk of cows that graze above 1800 meters and local Valtellina Casera cheese. As the cool kids say, it was “bangin.” A touch challenging to replicate verbatim perhaps, but use it as inspiration – any grain/pasta and cheese combo should be a nice foil for the wine. Or you can go full on local and whip up pizzocheri di valtellina – here’s your recipe (http://www.disgracesonthemenu.com/2011/01/pizzoccheri-della-valtellina.html). I think you get the idea, this is a versatile expression of Nebbiolo.
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