The name “Le Tense” originated during the domination of the Swiss Three Grey Legions from 1512-1797. The best vineyards were “tense”; protected by the guardians of the vines, the “arbostrari.” The Sassella is the forth bigger area in the DOCG Valtellina Superiore area: it is extended from the Castione Andevenno to the Sondro door. The name comes from the Sassella little church (from the word “stone”). Giosuè Carducci, the poet, dedicated a poem to the wines of this area “A una bottiglia di Sassella del 1848″: “e tu pendevi tralcio dai retici balzi…è bello al sole dell’Alpi mescere il tuo vin cantando”.
This wine is made by 95% Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) and a 5% of Pignola. The cultuivation soils are located at 350-500 meters above the sea level and there is used the Guyot method on sandy-lime soils almost dry. The profit is 80 quintals per hectare and the grapes are picked at the end of October, beginning of November. There are 10 days of maceration of the peels in the musts and it follows the fermentation at 26-28°C. The maturation takes place for 2 months and there is a further resting period in Slavonia oak barrels for 18 months. There is a long bottle refinement. It has a ruby red color almost garnet. The smell is intense and elegant with strawberry, resin and goudron aromas with some withered roses and violet aromas. The taste is dry, austere, harmonic with a dry prune and a toasted almond hints very persistent