96 POINTS: VINOUS - The 2002 Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva Rocce Rosse will give readers a very good idea of how top-notch Valtellina Nebbiolo develops with age. Moreover, it clearly shows that top-flight Nebbiolo from Valtellina deserves a seat at the table next to the world’s greatest wines. Primary flavors are now faded into the background, replaced with a striking array of dried rose petal, lavender, mint and sweet pipe tobacco. A wine for lovers of classic, traditionally made Nebbiolo, the 2002 Rocce Rosse delivers the goods, and then some. The 2002 spent 35 days on the skins in cement, followed by 4 years in cask and cement. Don't miss it. -Antonio Galloni
93 POINTS: WINE SPECTATOR - This aging beauty impresses on the nose, with Fernet-Branca–like aromas of black licorice and medicinal herbs. This is medium- to full-bodied and still fresh, with grippy tannins and a creamy mix of baked cherry, singed orange peel, aged leather and tarry smoke notes. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases made, 560 cases imported.
MISSION NOTES: While Valtellina is made from the Nebbiolo grape, this wine is far from the tannic and rugged Barolos I cut my teeth on. ArPePe's 2002 is pure elegance in the glass, from the gorgeous color to the seamless integration of tannins and fruit after twenty years in the bottle. Helping customers understand the benefit of cellaring their wines can only truly be done with examples like this. It's one thing to tell someone a wine will taste great in 20 years, but an entirely more effective thing to show them. Take a bottle of this home, make yourself a nice meal, and be truly blown away. If this wine doesn't make you want to start your own personal cellar, nothing will. -David Driscoll,, Mission Sales Manager