By now both you and I know that I am a sucker for nebbiolo! And I confess – it it most def one of my vices and it is a vice that I am proud to have – because it is such a stunning grape and i gives some of the most interesting wines in the world!
The combination of an almost painful acidity and tannic structure (pop there goes one of my teeths again) and those unique slightly perfumed aromas of roses, tar, leather, tobacco, violets, cherries and dried fruits are such a fantastic thing that I totally surrender. My only problem is that good nebbiolo is quite expensive – and that is something I/we just have to live with.
Nino Negris Sfursat 5 Stelle (around €47) is one of my all time favourite nebbiolos. Not from Piedmont but Valtellina in Lombardy a bit further north to the swiss border. It is made only in good years and with the best nebbiolo (chiavennasca) grapes in Valtellina Superiore (the vineyards are located in the Inferno, Grumello and Fracia crus). After the harverst the grapes are left to dry under a period of three months before pressing and vinification.
Then follows a traditional (in its modern shape) winemaking process with a 12 day maceration and fermentation in stainless steel, elevage for 16 months in new french barriques and a further 3 months on bottle before it is released.
The drying/appassimento part migth lead you to expect an Amarone-like experience but apart from the drying part – there is really not that great a resemblence between the two.
The Nino Negri Sfursat 5 Stelle 2007 are orange-red in colour with complex aromas of cherries, coffee, herbs, cocoa powder and oak/chocolate. On the palate it is massive with super concentrated tastes of red and dark berries, herbs, oak, coffee, tobacco and leather. It got layer upon layer of fruits and spices with hints of vanilla and a super long, tannic and slightly alcoholoc finish. It’s a fantastic wine with (one of Italys best if you ask me!). And it can last for decades!