The story that binds the Sella family to viticulture, is a story that I always like to tell, because, although the tendency of wealthy families to invest in the agricultural sector tout court is a well-known tradition (not only in Italy), what makes this story different is the choice of the place to invest. Already in 1671 the Sella family bought the first plot in Lessona, the one destined to become the nucleus of the estates, and continued to expand without ever leaving the enclave of Upper Biella, ignoring the easy enticements of the wine-growing territories that have become progressively more famous.
To be clearer, even when Barolo began its irresistible rise among the most prestigious wines of Europe, despite having enough monuey to invest with conviction in those areas, the family preferred to increase its presence in Lessona, Bramaterra and Coste della Sesia. In light of this entrepreneurial attitude, which retains some almost romantic traits, it is not surprising that Tenute Sella has become the reference winery for the wine production of those areas, so close yet so different.
In Lessona the soils are composed of ancient Pliocene sands, extremely fertile and draining, with the valley floor where there is a high concentration of shells fossils combined with a large presence of iron and manganese, which decisively affect the picture “mineral” of wine. In Bramaterra the lands, of even more remote origin (between 290 and 250 million years ago), are rich in quartz porphyry (from prehistoric lava rock), mixed with sand and clay of marine origin, and inhabited by a rich biodiversity of fauna and flora.
In both areas, in the land owned, are planted vines of an average age between 40 and 50 years, from which is obtained, either by manual thinning or by natural yield (in older plants), less than a kilo of grapes per plant. These grapes are the result of a work that develops, throughout the year, following three very precise guidelines: the protection of soil health, the implementation of an integrated viticulture model and the protection of biodiversity. More specifically, the soils are not treated with polluting substances, the approach to the various stages in the vineyard and in the cellar is of a holistic character, with the intention of obtaining the least possible environmental impact, and the increase and proliferation of flora and micro-fauna in the vineyard and in the surrounding lands are encouraged.
As for the production of Bramaterra, it is almost obligatory to mention the wine I Porfidi, the flag bearer of this area obtained from a blend of Nebbiolo (70%), Croatina (20%) and Vespolina (10%). Produced for the first time in 2003, this wine is made from vineyards over 50 years of age, located on a hilltop at 350 meters above sea level, with an exposure to the Southwest.
After the harvest, which begins the first days of October, and a first careful selection in the plant, the grapes arrive in the cellar where they undergo a second selection on the appropriate sorting table. At this point the grapes are completely destemmed and pressed and then left to ferment and macerate in stainless steel tanks, with frequent pumping over and delestage, macerating between 19 days (Croatina) and 31 (Nebbiolo and Vespolina), with malolactic fermentation carried out. The aging period includes two years in large Slavonian oak barrels (25hl) and one year in Allier oak barrels, before bottling, a few months of rest in glass and marketing.
The 2010 vintage shows a slightly orange Red color, with an olfactory fan that opens on notes of Ravenna cherry, red orange, pot pourri and vinyl, followed by pomegranate, incense, carob and fresh cigar chopping, with final echoes of carpentry, toasted hazelnut and vanilla. The palate does not linger in softness that, sincerely, would be out of place, considered the evident and greedy freshness and sapidity, with tannins well present but refined and elegant; all enriched by the return of fresh red fruit and the most noble spices that accompany the sip until a closure of excellent length.
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