Beautiful, affordable Nebbiolo is what Valtellina has to offer. The New York Times recently wrote "If you have not yet made the journey in a glass to... Valtellina, then I envy the gorgeous discoveries that await you." Quadrio is named for the 15th century Castello Quadrio di Chiuro that houses the Nino Negri cellars. The grapes are sourced from the finest estate vineyards within the Valtellina Superiore DOCG. These south facing hillside vineyards sit at elevations above 1,100 feet and consist of soils of gravel, loose sand and silt. Grapes are allowed to hang until ultra-ripe and are finally harvested in early to mid October. The wine is traditionally vinified seeing 10 days of maceration on the skins followed by a cold fermentation in stainless steel. The wine is matured for 18 months in large French and Slavonian oak vats prior to bottling. 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Merlot. Wine Spectator selected the 2010 as one of its Top 100 Wines of 2013. This 2011 is a worthy successor showing fresh acidity and gentle tannins, with notes of dried cherry, licorice, espresso and tobacco. A unique and satisfying red.
To the east of Piedmont in the foothills of the Alps is the Valtellina Valley, lesser known than Piedmont but another producer of fine wines from the Nebbiolo grape. I have tried Grumello, Sassella and Inferno wines before from that region and they can be quite powerful. This is a Valtellina Superiore a blend of 90% Nebbiolo and 10% Merlot. Lighter in style, very drinkable and easy going. Black cherry, soft fruits. A nice mid week wine, pasta, pizza. Well balanced, will be interesting to see how it ages. I will keep a few bottles for a while.