Tenute Sella – recently tasted wines

Some notes from a recent line-up of wines – across various sub-regions and vintages – tasted at the Taste Alto Piemonte event in Novara. Overall, I was pretty disappointed, except for just a couple of wines that were mildly interesting.

(for reference)

  • no recommendation (NR) (not bad, just not something I would buy/recommend)
  • recommended (R(+/-)  *(a really nice wine!, nothing average about it!)
  • highly recommended (HR(+/-)  *(an excellent wine!)
  • very highly recommended (VHR(+/-)  *(an EPIC wine!)
  • The + or – sign many be attached to the rating. The (+) says it’s an excellent value within its peer/price group; the (-) says it’s a poor value relative to its peers


2011 Tenute Sella Lessona (NR)  The first in the lineup, this was pretty representative of the challenging+ vintage. A full entry, high acidity, moderate finish; there’s some kind of hole in the mid-palate today. Right after the hole shows itself, the palate falls off a cliff. Not so happy with this. 13,0% abvNR

2011 Tenute Sella Bramaterra  (NR)  { #TasteAltoPiemonte } Suffering from a little bit of reduction, with a color on the dusky side of garnet. The reduction is gone in about 30 seconds, but the nose just never really opens up. Tannins mostly integrated, high acids, and another hole in the palate. Not so good of a showingNR

2009 Tenute Sella Lessona San Sebastiano allo Zoppo  (R+)  { #TasteAltoPiemonte } The most approachable wine of the three (in the lineup) tasted so far today. This has a sweet core of fruit, harmonius acidity; finish is med+. Very old (75 yrs) vines, great southern exposition, unique (low pH) sandy soils, 24 months in botti, with another year in Allier tonneau; Nebbiolo with 15% Vespolina. Drink or hold thru 2025. 13,0% abvrecommended+

2010 Tenute Sella Bramaterra I Porfidi  (NR)  { #TasteAltoPiemonte } Herbal aromas, a dash of licorice, high-toned fruit. Too much wood influence today, tannins and overall structure show very little harmony. Yes another finish that falls off a cliff. I know their regime is traditionally based. Not sure what’s missing (other than the freshness, structure) that makes this come up so short, but I lost interest pretty quickly. Perhaps bottle variation, or it needed a lengthy aeration in decanter. Drink or holdNR

2008 Tenute Sella Lessona Omaggio a Quintino Sella  (R)  { #TasteAltoPiemonte } The final wine in the lineup, and, thankfully, this is showing well today. Medium-bodied, red fruited, with some herbs, cherry and soil notes on the nose and palate. The finish is good>very good; there’s some structure, and potential here. A shadow of the great 2004, 2005. Drink with air or HOLD. recommended

In summary, there’s not a single wine here that I can’t live without. Which is another way of saying these wines have no cohesive voice, and little to no expression of site and/or freshness. I hope they can find their way.




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