Nobili "Sassella" Valtellina Superiore 2015
Most aficionados will recognize Piedmont, in northwest Italy, as the home to the noble Nebbiolo grape. Travel to Lombardy, however – specifically the valley of Valtellina near the Swiss border – and you will find the Nobili estate, a family winery producing soft, fragrant, classic Nebbiolo from their organic, terraced vineyards.
These terraces were in fact created centuries ago and still stand today, thanks to the tireless work of Nicola Nobili and his family slowly rebuilding and maintaining the stone walls. This laborious upkeep is fittingly called viticoltura eroica, or "heroic viticulture."
While Piedmontese Nebbiolo of Barolo or Barbaresco can be brooding and impenetrable when young, with wildly tart fruit and harsh tannic bite, the Nebbiolo of Valtellina is fresh, fragrant, and approachable in its youth, filled with red fruit and flower aromas, with a soft, caressing mouthfeel that's almost Pinot Noir-like.
The soils here are a mix of glacial deposits and serpentine, a weathered bone-white rock birthed from deep within earth's mantle. A distinct and profound sense of place is unmistakeable in these wines.