Vines in Grumello. Photo by Ago Berti

Nino Negri: Older Vintages from the Valtellina

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I love the Valtellina, and I love old wine from the Valtellina, but I confess I know very little about Nino Negri (est. 1897), the largest producer in the zone. I have only tasted a little recent vintage Negri, and found the wine ranging between perfectly-fine-if-not-exciting and seriously-oaky. At a big tasting we tried some 1960’s Nino Negri and the wines were very good. In the absence of more personal experience, I quote from the Bible – Wasserman’s “The Noble Red Wines of Italy” (published in 1991): “They own 104 acres in the Superiore zone. This includes 14.8 acres in Sassella, 32 each in Inferno and Grumello, and nearly 25 in Fracia which is in the Valgella zone. Besides the full range of Valtellina wines, they produce the special selections Fracia and Nino Negri Riserva. Both Valtellina Superiore. At one time they labeled the Riserva as Castel Chiuro Riserva, which they had to discontinue doing since they don’t actually own a castle. The wine is as good as always. The Nino Negri Riserva is made from a selection of grapes from Grumello, Inferno, and Sassella… Their wines can be as good as anyone’s in the zone”. There is also the famous Valtellina Sfursat, a wine made in the manner of Amarone that ages beautifully. Jamie Wolff

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