With a dark garnet-red color, the wine shows distinctive, fine aromas of small fruits, raspberry preserves, roses and violets, with an herbal note. In the mouth, the wine has full, lively tart fruit flavors, elegant tannins and a lingering aftertaste, with traces of prunes and toasty oak.
The Valtellina region, located at the base of the pre-Alps on Italy’s border with Switzerland, is an extremely challenging terroir. A narrow, 25 mile-long amphitheater of terraced vineyards that line the north bank of the Adda River, form a deep gorge amid mountainous terrain. This is Italy’s largest terraced area of viticulture: an impressive 1,500 miles of dry walls that support the terraces are distributed over the 25-mile strip. Working this land is a monumental, backbreaking toil.
Steep, nearly vertical vineyards from 2,400 to 3,000 feet elevation rule out the use of any mechanical equipment. All work, from removing soil to harvesting grapes is done by hand. The star and primary varietal here is Chiavennasca, the local name for Nebbiolo. The variety has been cultivated here for over 1,000 years and it is said that it was brought from here to neighboring Piedmont in the 14th Century. All Valtellina DOCG wines must contain at least 90% Chiavennasca.