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Piedmont Rivals: North Vs South

Having to compete with its world famous Southern Piedmont counterparts is no easy feat for the lesser known Piedmont wines made from Nebbiolo, and as such wines such as  Lessona, Bramaterra, Boca, Ghemme, Gattinara and Carema do not often get the recognition they deserve. Generally speaking they do not have the power and flesh of Barolo but instead tend towards a more refined, fragrant and fresher style with a lighter, silkier structure. At Astrum, we have adored the stunning wines from Tenute Sella for over a decade now and are therefore delighted with their Gold Medal at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards for their gorgeous Lessona San Sebastiano allo Zoppo 2007. 

Tenute Sella has been a family-owned winery since 1671, which now produces around 90,000 bottles a year from their 22 hectares. Specialising in Lessona and Bramaterra, all  their wines show great focus, precision of aromas and flavours and are exceptionally ageworthy.

One of the smallest DOCs in Piedmont, Lessona wine must have a minimum of 75% Nebbiolo and the remaining percentage can be either Vespolina or Bonarda. Tenute Sella’s San Sebastiano allo Zoppo is a blend of 85% Nebbiolo and 15% Vespolina from 75 year old vines. San Sebastiano allo Zoppo is the symbol of Lessona and its history; it is a hill which reaches the highest point in the town of Lessona, and has been planted with vineyards since 1436 in sandy soils with an acid pH, typical of the Lessona DOC.

Tenute Sella's San Sebastiano allo Zoppo is fermented in stainless steel vats, macerated for 25 days and malolactic fermentation takes place the following spring when the wine is in oak. It spends 24 months in 25hl Slavonian oak barrels and 12 months in Allier Oak tonneaux and the aging potential for this wine is over 30 years. 2007 is an outstanding vintage due to the long growing season from a mild winter to a summer that was not brutally hot and was tempered by cooling breezes and allowing the grapes to reach excellent phenolic ripeness and maturity. Highly aromatic and full-bodied, the 2007 promises to age beautifully. 

"The 2007 Lessona San Sebastiano allo Zoppo is a beautiful, complete wine. Pliant and expressive, yet also intensely mineral, the 2007 is built on balance and harmony. The 2007 is generous and resonant, yet the firm tannins carry the fruit beautifully all the way through to the finish. Sweet tobacco, dried flowers and mint are some of the many notes that inform the finish. This is another great showing from Sella." (Antonio Galloni)

Piedmont Rivals: North Vs South