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Nino Negri Inferno Valtellina Superiore 2009
Terroir: The Nino Negri Inferno is sourced from the best crus of the Inferno subzones of Calvario, Sopragironi, Sottogironi and Ca Rossa. Grapes are densely cultivated high on the terraced hillside in pour, sandy soils and a due-south exposure.
Established in 1897, Nino Negri is the premier estate producing wine in the Valtellina DOCG in Italy’s Lombardy region. The success of Nino Negri and the greater Valtellina region 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 authority in Italian wine.
While picturesque hillsides, endless coastlines and a favorable climate serve to unify the grape-growing culture of this country, the apparent never-ending world of indigenous grape varieties gives Italy an unexampled charm and allure. From the steep inclines of the Alps to the sprawling, warm, coastal plains of the south, red grape varieties thrive throughout Italy. There is literally something for every palate.
The kings of Italy, wines like Barolo and Barbaresco (made of Nebbiolo), and Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino (made of Sangiovese), as well as Amarone (mostly Corvina), play center stage for the most lauded, collected and cellar-worthy reds. Less popular but entirely deserving of as much praise are the wines made from Aglianico, Sagrantino and Nerello Mascalese.
For those accustomed to drinking New World reds, the south is the place to start. Grapes like Negroamaro or Primitvo from Puglia and Nero d’Avola from Sicily make soft, full-bodied, fruit-dominant wines that are easy to like.