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Dirupi New Arrivals 2022

Dirupi New Arrivals 2022 - Prince Wine Store

Dirupi New Arrivals 2022

Even further north, almost in Switzerland to the north-east of Milan in the far north of Lombardia, is Valtellina – so far off the path beaten by most wine lovers that it receives scant attention but deserves much more. Not least because the style of Valtellina wines is so in tune with what many twenty-first-century wine drinkers seek: fresh, pure, expressive and mineral. The wines also tend usefully to mature rather earlier than Barolo. Oh, and they are cheaper. JANCIS ROBINSON, www.jancisrobinson.com

There are some new stars here who are easily among the very best of Italy and have reached this status in an amazingly short period. Dirupi was founded in 2004 by school friends Pierpaolo Di Franco and Davide Fasolini…Dirupi is managed organically and the approach in the cellar is one of low intervention. All wines are aged in large oak casks except for their Rosso di Valtellina, an exciting wine in its own right, which gets to only see stainless steel. Their Grumello Riserva from a locally famous lieu-dit, called Dossi Salati, is a complex wine with fantastic depth and tightly wound tannins. WALTER SPELLER

When you meet Pierpaolo Di Franco and Davide Fasolini, aka the Dirupi boys, you just start smiling. They look like a couple of unmade beds; hair everywhere, t-shirts stained, ADD-like energy but always, always there’s a hug and a laugh. Beneath the surface though is a fierce passion for Valtellina and its ethereal nebbiolo and, like men who make them, the wines just make you smile. These new arrivals are the best we’ve ever seen from them.

Before I go on, I need to say I flat-out love nebbiolo from this sub-Alpine area, shoved up against the Swiss border in the northern reaches of Lombardy. It’s a different animal to that farmed and produced in Piemonte. Here, the emphasis is on elegance, fragrance, filigree detail. They are lighter in structure than the more foreboding buttressing you find in Barolo and Barbareco but the different voice they bring to the “Nebbiolo conversation” is quite special. I always think you effectively get all of the fragrance and ethereal beauty of nebbiolo with a beautiful silken texture.

This is where the boys farm 17 sites. Yep 17 (!) across the sub-zones of Valtellina (Grumello, Inferno, Sondrio, Montagna, Poggiridenti) and when I say sites, don’t think large acreage. In some cases, the plots are no bigger than a decent lounge room! The steepness and micro-nature of these vineyards dictates that the farming is hyper-intensive, by-hand and low-yield viticulture. It’s back-breaking work so it’s not surprising then that so many vineyards had been abandoned in the recent past; it was just too labour intensive without the return on effort.

Thankfully there are people in the wine world like the Dirupi boys (incidentally Dirupi means “cliff and alludes to the cliff-like steepness of the vineyards), who recognise the value and uniqueness of their region and with youthful enthusiasm have renovated every one of those 17 sites and are now producing lilting and evocative Nebbiolo or Chiavennasca as it is known in Valtellina. In fact, they pay a peppercorn rent for the plots on the proviso they rebuild and maintain the dry-stone walls propping up each terrace. Like I said, it’s hard work here!

In the winery each plot is vinified separately with maceration of up to 30 days, fermentation is in stainless steel and ageing is in a mix of larger 20 hectolitre botte and smaller format barrique.

We recently showed these new arrivals at a public tasting amongst a slew of new arrivals. They are fabulous.

The  Valtellina Rosso Ole 2020 is the entry level DOC and is all about lightness, fragrance, pliancy and deliciousness. It’s got all the Nebbiolo fragrance and flavours in an uncomplicated package. Fermented and aged in stainless steel for the most part. It’s quaffable yes, but it’s more than that.

The Valtellina Superiore 2018 is my favourite ever release of this wine. It draws its fruit from most of the 17 plots and steps up a gear in intensity of all the elements: aromatics, depth of flavour and complexity are all ramped up here. Bruised strawberry, brown spice, red petals, orange rind and well, a panopoly of other aromats farme a silken texture.  Fermented in 20 hectolitre botte and has the ability to age for 5-8 years.

These wines bring a joyful angle to the sometimes more ponderous elements of Barolo or Barbaresco. In saying that, the comparison is probably not that important as Valtellina is a beautifully unique expression.


Michael McNamara?

PRODUCTS in this offer

  1. Dirupi Rosso di Valtellina Ole 2020
    Dirupi Rosso di Valtellina Ole 2020
    One of the better versions of this wine I've seen. Bruised strawberry, crushed rose petals, mountain herbs and a consistent backbeat of liquorice and menthol waft out of the glass. Just bang on for the variety from this part of the world. That same band of brothers weave their way through the palate, carried along within a medium weight, sweet texture before powdery tannins carry the whole package to a satusfying end. It's just lovely Valtellina and a great intro to the Dirupi style and, to the regions nebbiolo in general. MICHAEL MCNAMARA
  2. Dirupi Valtellina Superiore 2018
    Dirupi Valtellina Superiore 2018
    The first thing that strikes you with any Dirupi wine is the soaring, ethereal florals. For this 2018 it's no different, crushed red petals and dried herbs blend with citrus peel and a deeper pitched minerality, not found in the Ole. The palate is svelte and the sweet red-berry-fruit is accented by subtle oak spice notes and mineral salts. While the overall feel on the palate is lithe, the flavours are closely packed-in and create a lingering feeling of concentration and gravitas. Another beautiful wine from this producer and one that plays to the beauty of the variety. MICHAEL MCNAMARA

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Dirupi Rosso di Valtellina Ole 2020 $55.00 $55.00
Dirupi Valtellina Superiore 2018 $80.00 $80.00
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