Lake Garda borders Veneto and Lombardy.  On the southern shore is Lugana, a wine region that crosses over so in the eastern half, we have a corvina rose from Veneto and, on the western half, we have Trebbiano di Lugana from Lombardy.  This is a rare occurrence in Italy but shouldn’t be surprising for a country that offers endless complications to understanding its wine.

Another case in point is Nebbiolo.  World-renowned because of Barolo and Barbaresco from Lombardy’s neighbor, Piedmont, Nebbiolo has also developed a foothold in America due to some decent California examples over the last fifteen years. With Italian wine, if you can get even some passing recognition of a grape name from American, you’re ahead of the game.

Lombardy produces some of the best Nebbiolo bottlings in the world in the Alps on the Swiss border, the region of Valtellina Superiore.  Until recently, though, this was nowhere on the bottle instead called by the local name, Chiavennasca.  Only a handful of producers make wine on the steep high altitude slopes and it is remarkable.  Showing at once, complex depth and bright juicy finesse – a characteristic that would never be ascribed to a Barolo.  We have a lovely example of this style.  Nino Negri, the first commercial winemaker here makes the Inferno, named for one of the four Superiore crus.   We’ll be adding a Sforzato or Sfursat later in the month made from dried Nebbiolo as well.

Starting tomorrow – Lombardy Pasta Tasting and Lombardy Wine Flight.  From Garda to Valtellina to Franciacorta.

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