Nino Negri, Valtellina Superiore, Inferno, 2015
Sometimes I wonder about the business strategy of importer HaKerem. They have a good representation in restaurants, with appellations familiar enough to attract attention. On the other hand, wine stores in Israel carry a good share of other, arguably more marginal wines from the portfolio that are only of passing interest and curiosity for someone like me. But just how many of me are there and how much of our free income can we spare to indulge in passing interest and curiosity? I dunno, maybe HaKerem is a crazy money laundering scheme.
My passing interest here is that I find alpine wine regions strangely appealing. Valtellina Superiore, a DOCG in the Lombardy wine region on the Italian-Swiss border, is even more appealing for being a Nebbiolo appellation. Initially, I didn't find this particular rendition of the grape especially compelling, but as it opened up, it started ticking off all the right checkboxes in the Nebbiolo grocery list: aromas of cherries, tar, flowers - and, finally - truffles! The palate starts out limpid but builds up enough substance to carry on to a lingering, spicy finish. Not bad at all for a cheap trick to launder 90 NIS. (Jan. 23, 2019)