Grapelive Wine of the Week
By Kerry Winslow
2006 Conti Sertoli Salis “Grumello” Valtellina Superiore DOCG, Italian Red.
I just love these mountain Nebbiolo wines, and this pretty Grumello is just a sexy and intriguing wine with delightful life and vibrancy. Only a tiny handful of producers make these rare wines from steep terraced vineyards in extreme mountainous Alp terroirs in the very north of Italy, so it is always a deep pleasure to get a chance to try one. Many of these growers also do small lots of Amarone like versions made from late picked and dried Nebbiolo grapes, and I adore them and find them better than most of the real Veneto Amarones on occasion. This wine is not from dried grapes, but it does have an exotic and sweet herb layer that you don’t find anywhere else with blue and red fruits and a savory earth and spice element. This Conti Salis Valtellina was new to me and I love it and can’t wait to try it again and the other wines from this small artisan producer. The nose starts with dried flowers, sweet herbs and lavender spice with hints of rose petals and fennel along with a tangy plum note which lead to a mid weight palate that shows cherry, plum and wild strawberry fruits plus mineral, truffle, licorice and a touch of tar with acidity and supple tannins. This is a totally unique Nebbiolo that only hints at it’s more famous cousins in Barolo and Barbaresco, but is almost as enjoyable.
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive