2016 Nino Negri Sfursat Di Valtellina
2016 Nino Negri Sfursat Di Valtellina A bright, mouthwatering red, this is medium- to full-bodied and tightly knit 2016, marrying sculpted tannins to flavors of wild cherry coulis and raspberry fruit, with notes of dried herb and rose hip. A skein of smoky mineral and peppery spice slowly unspools on the grippy finish.
The classic 2016 vintage plays its part in giving the wine a refined and focused personality. But the appassimento process is surely responsible for the wine’s distinct aromas of candied fruit, dried cherry, distilled violet and crème de cassis. You feel the wine’s 16% alcoholic content (another result of air-dried fruit) and its firm tannin bite that comes naturally to this grape variety. Production is 25,000 bottles.
Established in 1897, Nino Negri is the premier estate producing wine in the Valtellina DOCG in Italy’s Lombardy region. The estate specialty is Sfursat (“strained” or “forced”); a wine made from grapes harvested by trained pickers and dried for 100 days in the cool, dry, alpine air. This winemaking style combines the opulence of Amarone with the elegant complexity of Barolo. The success of Nino Negri is due largely to the efforts of winemaker Casimiro Maule who has worked at the estate since 1971, his entire professional life. In 2007, Casimiro was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Gambero Rosso, the magazine authority in Italian wine.
The star and primary varietal here is Chiavennasca, the local name for Nebbiolo. The variety has been cultivated in the area for over 1,000 years and all Valtellina DOCG wines must contain at least 90% Chiavennasca.
Nino Negri controls almost 400 acres of the finest Chiavennasca vineyards in the Valtellina Superiore subzones. The estate directly owns 75 acres of exceptional vineyards, including the 27-acre Fracia vineyard, an exclusive cru planted since 1995 to special clonal selections. The vine stocks that are cultivated horizontally from west to east, an innovated planting scheme for this region.
The winery is located in the city of Chiuro in the 15th Century Quadrio Castle. The “castle” sits above an array of underground cellars which house thousands of barrels. All Nino Negri wines age for at least two years before they are released to ensure optimum maturity at time of bottling.