WTN: 2002 Triacca Valtellina Superiore "Sassella" (DOCG)

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WTN: 2002 Triacca Valtellina Superiore "Sassella" (DOCG)

Postby Paul B. » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:44 pm

This was the wine I picked out to go with the rabbit stewed in a bacon/garlic/sage sauce that I made on the weekend.

13% alc. Translucent medium clear-ruby colour. Very shy nose; rather non-descript, though some brothy/earthy notes did come through; the fruit component was next to absent, however. Fantastic acidity and structure, though; the wine is 100% Nebbiolo aged for 18 months in large wooden casks and 6 months in steel tanks. Excellent tannin on the midpalate; lithe structure with an overall light-bodied impression, but with good grip and firmness. Aromatically non-descript, but well structured. Mildly bitter on the finish.

The wine was actually a superb match for the rabbit, as it was awfully gentle aromatically, but had really good structure and a savoury flavour profile that worked well with the sauce.
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Re: WTN: 2002 Triacca Valtellina Superiore "Sassella" (DOCG)

Postby Oliver McCrum » Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:02 pm

Triacca is an excellent producer in that region, but '02 was a very difficult vintage in Piedmont, and I suspect about as bad in the Valtellina. Don't judge the type by this example, in other words.
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Re: WTN: 2002 Triacca Valtellina Superiore "Sassella" (DOCG)

Postby Paul B. » Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:10 pm

Thanks Oliver. I had every bit of faith in the bottle as soon as I saw it, but wasn't aware of the vintage problem. Even with that said, I still found the wine to match very well with the food I had prepared.
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Re: WTN: 2002 Triacca Valtellina Superiore "Sassella" (DOCG)

Postby Agostino Berti » Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:09 pm

Hey Paul,
Definitely don't generalize vintages. 2000 was a bad vintage in Valtellina and good in Piedmont, for instance. Valtellina has its own weird micro climate. 2002 sucked in most places but was pretty good in Collio (Friuli). As far as I know for sure 1999 and 2001 were great in Valtellina, but since its Nebbiolo it takes a while to confirm it (the '99 Grumello by my favorite producer Alberto Marsetti still tastes simple).

The thing I've noted about Valtellina wines is that they are one of the best food wines in the world. They are often hard or not forthcoming aromatically, light coloured, and light tasting ; but they accompany food perfectly. They meld with food. So hats off to the mountain climbers who pick the grapes and wait 7,8 years and you will be rewarded.

There's a blind tasting session that I have yet to post where a 1997 Inferno Riserva Rainoldi beat the pants off of 6-7 top flight Barolos from 97-98-99 vintages plus one '95 Brunello. Second place was won by a '97 Ghemme. The Barolos were still too tannic to judge after 7-8 years.

There's another time when an '88 Grumello (Valtellina) beat a '90 Francesco Rinaldi single vineyard Barolo.

Moral of the story is: I'm a big supporter of Valtellina. In part because of its underdog status, but also because of the surprises and pleasures it has given me.

I just hope these bigger producers, who get to export to the US, don't mess it up by adding additives, colorants,etc.

Triacca is a bigger producer but it sounds like they are still doing things right (light color, etc.). My recommendation is to cellar these wines, until 8 yrs old is generally good, and see what happens.

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Re: WTN: 2002 Triacca Valtellina Superiore "Sassella" (DOCG)

Postby Oliver McCrum » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:45 pm

Agostino,

Have you tasted Triacca's wines?
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